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Mental Health speaker - About Carol Kivler

Mental health speaker Carol Kivler draws from her own experience in helping others cope with mental illness.

Carol A. Kivler of Lawrence, NJ, is the founder of Courageous Recovery, a division of Kivler Communications designed to raise awareness to remove the stigma of mental illness and to instill hope in those who live with it. Through Courageous Recovery, Kivler’s goal is to change the way society and the medical profession views people living with mental illness. Her mission is to have society and medical professionals view individuals living with mental illness as courageous survivors who want to be accepted, not rejected; respected, not pitied; and admired, not feared. Carol considers herself a courageous survivor expert.

First diagnosed with mental illness in 1990, Kivler suffers from periodic acute bouts of medication-resistant depression, which in her case is only responsive to ECT (electro-convulsive therapy). Presently, Carol has been living in recovery for the last 12 years. Carol is a highly respected and experienced professional speaker (CSP), author, international executive coach/consultant and corporate trainer (CMT). Carol has an M.S. in Human Resource Education and previously worked as a college professor.

Carol speaks to psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors, medical/nursing students as well as associations, organizations, school systems and government agencies. This is a wonderful opportunity for medical and mental health professionals to view a former patient as a courageous survivor. These audiences have embraced Carol as her consumer perspective uniquely educates and inspires them. She also provides programs for consumers, who are motivated and empowered by her message. Carol’s personal story has impacted the way these populations view mental illness. They learn that recovery is probable not just possible.

Carol has been interviewed numerous times about her experience on television, radio, and in print.After her last acute episode, Carol authored an interactive journal, Blessings: My Journal of Gratitude. Her book, Will I Ever Be the Same Again? Transforming the Face of ECT (Shock Therapy), was released in May 2010. The book received excellent reviews from mental health professionals and from consumers and was a finalist for two book awards.

Carol's pocket guide, The ABCs of Recovery from Mental Illness, was an amazon.com best-seller in the mental health category. The book contains 26 non-medical strategies for sustaining wellness. Her 4th book was just published. Mental Health Recovery Boosters! is a book of inspiration and reflection to move readers from mental illness to mental wellness. It provides positive energy and the strategies needed to help readers manifest the lives they were meant to live and is getting rave reviews.


Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)
Certified Master Trainer (CMT)
Member, American Society of Training and Development
Member, National speakers Association
Member, Philadelphia Chapter of the National speakers Association
Past President, Philadelphia Chapter of the National speakers Association
Vitality Alliance, Path of Dialogue, Single Point Lessons Certification
Clark Wilson, 360 Degree Feedback Certification
Member, Office Advisory Commission at Mercer County Community College
Member, National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
Member, NAMI/Mercer County
Past Board of Trustees, NAMI, Mercer County (10 years)


2013 - Invited to become member of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation (ISEN) newly created Patient Advisory Committee (PAC).

2013 - Nominated for a WEGO Health Activist Award which honors people who made a real difference in how we think about healthcare and living well.

2012 - Invited to become Member of the Nursing Sub-Committee of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation (ISEN).

2011 – “Will I Ever Be the Same Again?”, Finalist, Self-Help Category, 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

2010 – “Will I Ever Be the Same Again?”, Award-Winning Finalist, Health:Psychology/Mental Health Category, “Best Books 2010’ Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

2010 - Invited by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) to join their Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP), funded by the SAMHSA Recovery to Practice Grant. The panel advises the grant as well as other activities of the APNA involving psychiatric nursing practice.

2009 - Victorious Woman Award – presented for positively affecting entire families, workplaces, and whole neighborhoods.

2008 - Recipient of the Garden State Seeds of Hope Award presented by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. This award honors exceptional people who go to extraordinary lengths to help and give hope to others. Learn more about the award.