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Dana Chrtkova

Czech Republic

I am from the Czech Republic, and I am 56 years old. I am a woman with lived experience of severe mental illness.  I went through 3 attacks of psychosis. The first attack of psychosis came in 1998. The last one in 2003. I have been recovering since 1998. But the year 2010 when I started my work in the mail room of Prague psychiatric centre was a crucial point of my life.

The opportunity to work has caused the improvement in my personal process of decision making and the decrease of my self-stigma. I changed my work position after four years. Then I started my work as peer researcher in the department of social psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health in 2014.

Thanks to my work as peer researcher, I recognized the necessity of advocacy of people with lived experience in my country. Therefore, we have established (me and my friends) the organisation DIALOGOS, z. s. The main goal of DIALOGOS, z. s. is the social inclusion of people with lived experience, their empowerment and the involvement of people with lived experience in decision making processes. I am a head of DIALOGOS, z. s., now.

I represent people with lived experience in the “Advisory Board of the reform of mental health care” that currently takes place in the Czech Republic.

I am married, I have 2 adult daughters and 1 granddaughter.