Erica Crompton is a sought-after keynote speaker giving speeches on living with psychosis and schizophrenia. She captivates audiences around the world with her personal story about her progress of disease.
Writing in The New York Times, Erica notes that she’s been fired more times than she cares to admit and has even more resignation letters to her name. With only 8 per cent of people with schizophrenia in work (including volunteer positions) Erica knows well the stigma to her condition from employers and others and has plenty of colourful anecdotes of experiencing stigma and how, in an ideal world, others can remedy this.
The first thing Erica thought when she was diagnosed with psychosis is that she was a danger to herself and other people. That’s because of the stereotypes the media portrays of people living with psychosis. Not immune to the myths and stereotypes herself, Erica today works behind the scenes as a ‘mad journalist’ to try to remedy some of the bleak stereotypes of people with severe mental illnesses portrayed in the media.
As someone who has benefited from CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy), Erica can pass on the important and life changing techniques she learned in her therapy sessions to benefit others and help them lead happier more rewarding lives. She maintains that if someone like her, diagnosed with schizophrenia, can live a happy life, so too can others.
In 2009, Erica was hospitalised and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after trying to take her own life. She can talk about how she found the strength to dial the emergency services after her suicide attempt and how other people can help those in distress under the most testing circumstances.
Erica has a degree in Fine Art from Staffordshire University and in her spare time runs Medfed an art and Tshirt brand for people with severe mental illness. She can talk about how Medfed challenges bleak stereotypes in the media and also show how many art forms – both as viewer and creator – can be a cathartic release for all people struggling or feeling low.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you from myself and the team at Time to Change, your speech went down very well and I had many positive comments about it after.
Head of Programme Management (Governance and Research), Time to Change
Thanks @ericacrompton for your touching talk on how stigma for people with psychosis is more of a barrier to paid employment than the symptoms experienced. Keep up the excellent journalism!
Dr Simon Sandhu, Rehabilitation Psychiatrist, TPD for NW Specialty Training Scheme
Just a note to say how much we, as a practise appreciated you giving up your free time recently to come along to surgery and speak with and be interviewed by medical students. This helped provide an invaluable opportunity for their learning. They greatly appreciate this and gain first-hand experience of the doctor-patient relationships. Many thanks.
Dr Suchack, et al, GPs, Harsthill Medical Centre (local NHS GP Surgery)
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