headshot1Ruth C. White, PhD, MPH, MSW is a health coach and Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, where she teaches and leads graduate courses in management, program evaluation and policy.

Ruth has 25+ years of experience working locally, nationally and globally with individuals, organizations, governments, and communities to build human and institutional capacity in health and social welfare, that is client-driven, evidence-based, and sustainable. Her goal is to move people and organizations from thinking and dreaming to doing and being. With breadth and depth in sociology, social work, public health, and economics, she brings an interdisciplinary perspective to problem-solving.

As a health coach, she combines her training as a social worker and public health professional to promote mental health and well-being – in individuals, organizations and communities. Her approach is holistic, science-based, prevention-focused, and grounded in her past experience as an elite athlete, a lifetime of fitness, and her mental health journey as someone who lives with bipolar disorder. She strongly believes that there is no health without mental health.

She is author of Preventing Bipolar Relapse (New Harbinger, 2014), and lead author (with John D. Preston) of Bipolar 101 (New Harbinger, 2009). She is also editor of Global Case Studies in Maternal and Child Health (Jones & Bartlett, 2012). She is currently writing a  general audience book on mental health and wellness, based on evidence-based strategies rooted in the latest research, and her own experience coping with bipolar disorder.

Dr. White has been cited or featured on topics related to diversity and mental health in a wide range of media including BBC, The Economist, Financial Times, Women’s Day, Black Enterprise, Seattle Times, Slate, and Yahoo Shine, among others. For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month (May) her story of recovery is featured in Women’s Health and she is cited by Vh1 on what Hollywood gets wrong – and right – about bipolar disorder. She is available to speak about issues related to mental health, such as access to treatment, fighting stigma, breaking the silence, healing and prevention.

Professional Profile: LinkedIn | Resume | CV


  • Health and wellness promotion
  • Training and professional development
  • Mental health advocacy
  • Program development, implementation and evaluation
  • Community engagement

Areas of Practice

  • Personal, organizational, and community capacity-building
  • Health and well-being
  • Diversity/inclusion