As a social worker and someone who lives with bipolar disorder, Ruth has an intimate knowledge of the mental health services system in the USA, both as client and provider. After being hospitalized more than a decade ago, she vowed that it would be her first and last time. Determined to continue her career as an academic, she spent hundreds of hours researching brain science to find ways to improve her own mental health. This culminated into her first book, Bipolar 101, which was a highly successful primer on the illness. While doing this research, she came to understand that what worked for her, as someone with a chronic mental illness, also works for everyday people with no diagnosis who are in search of ways to improve their mental health and well-being. Her public health background led her to focus on the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of mental wellness.

Ruth was born in the UK, grew up in Jamaica and Canada, and has spent the past two decades on the west coast of the United States. An elite athlete in her youth, she was a champion sprinter and long jumper, and also played field hockey, netball and swam for her high school teams in Canada and Jamaica. Her passion for exploring cultures and places has taken her around the globe. She loves the outdoors and is an avid hiker, sailor, kayaker, and a neophyte diver. When her schedule allows she also models and acts. She is the mother of one daughter.

Her mission is to make the world a healthier and happier place.


  • PhD, U. of California, Berkeley (Social Welfare)
  • MPH, U. of California, Berkeley (Maternal & Child Health; International Health)
  • MSW, McGill U., Montreal, Canada
  • BSW, McGill U., Montreal, Canada
  • B.Soc.Sci., U. of Ottawa, Canada (Sociology)

She has also studied finance and economics at the London School of Economics and Seattle University


  • 25+ years experience in USA, Canada, UK, Belize, Uganda and Jamaica, working with organizations and communities to create, implement, manage and evaluate effective, evidence-based  programs in health, mental health, social welfare, and diversity/inclusion.
  • 15+ years as a professor at the University of Southern California, Seattle University (tenured), and San Francisco State University.
  • Groundbreaking research on gay rights and HIV/AIDS stigma in Jamaica that served as the basis for expert witness testimony in precedent-setting deportation cases for clients represented by Yale, Columbia and NYU law schools, organizations such as the National Immigration Justice Center and law firms such as Sidley Austin, LLP.
  • Editorial board member for the American Journal of Public Health and other leading journals in health and social welfare, and has been on the board of directors for health and social welfare organizations.

Cited or Featured in

BBCHuffington Post, Women’s Health, The Economist,  Financial Times, New York Times, Seattle Times and DailyMail UK, Marie Claire,  Woman’s Day,  Black Enterprise, El Columbiana, Vanguardia

Professional Profile: LinkedIn | Resume | CV