Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, award-winning actress, and playwright. As a survivor and “thriver” of nearly 30 surgeries, a coma, sexual abuse, organ failure, and a decade of medical trauma, Amy has been challenged with moments of extreme difficulty. But, as an artist, actress, college student, and overall lover of life, Amy eagerly shares the lessons learned from trauma and has brought out the stories that unite us all through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking.
Amy has headlined international conferences on women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, mental health, disability, creativity, art therapy, and domestic violence prevention. She is a regular lifestyle, wellness, and arts contributor for over 70 notable online and print publications, and and her story has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, MSNBC, among others.
She has devised workshops for the Transformative Language Arts Network National Conference, the Eating Recovery Foundation, the 40th Anniversary New England Educational Opportunity Association Milestones Conference, the Annual National Mental Health America Conference, and others, and was this year’s keynote speaker for the Hawaii Pacific Rim International Conference on Diversity and Disability.
To celebrate her own “beautiful detour”, Amy created the #LoveMyDetour campaign, to help others cope in the face of unexpected events. To creatively engage others in improving mental health , Amy developed a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness, PTSD education and Broadway Theatre for college campuses, organizations and conferences, launching a Detourist Network, and Detourist Workshops to creatively fight stigma in society. “Detourism” is also the subject of her TEDx Talk and upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour, available December 2017.
As the 2014 Eastern Regional Recipient of Convatec’s Great Comebacks Award and WEGO Health 2016 “Health Activist Hero,” Amy is a passionate voice in the ostomy community, founding the online community Fearless Ostomates, speaking for National and Regional WOCN conferences, and writing for the official print publication of the UOAA. Her presentations on alternative medicine, and patient advocacy and healthcare have also been accepted to international conferences on patient care, internal medicine, medical trauma and therapeutic humor in healthcare.
As a playwright, Amy has received awards and accolades for engaging her audiences in dynamic conversation on trauma’s effects on society, including Women Around Town’s “Women to Celebrate 2014, BroadwayWorld Best Theatre Debut, and Bistro Awards New York Top Pick. Amy has written, directed and starred in a one-woman musical about her life, Gutless & Grateful, touring theatres, schools, festivals, conventions and organizations since it’s 2012 New York debut. Her original, full-length drama, Imprints, exploring the effects of trauma on the family and the healing power of creativity, was a finalist at Manhattan Repertory Theatre, and is currently in development for a full New York production. Amy’s collaboration with Beechwood Arts on “Resilience and the Power of the Human Spirit”, has traveled around the world, using her monologues, art, writing and recipes to express the life-altering detours and ultimately the invaluable gifts of her resilient journey. She is also a passionate arts advocate, a successful mixed media visual artist, a continuing education studio arts teacher, and an active member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, League for Advancement of New England Storytellers, Fairfield County Cultural Alliance, Theatre Artist Workshop, and several art guilds throughout Connecticut and New York.
Amy is currently touring the country with her one-woman musical, Gutless & Grateful, her keynote presentations, workshops and signature talkbacks, which she has devised specialized versions for corporations, college campuses, survivors, healthcare professionals, and artists. She is leading mixed media creativity workshops to promote creativity as a mindset, an essential survival skill. Amy also offers creative coaching and consulting services help others navigate their own “life detours,” and prides herself most on ending each night with a gratitude list.
Together, we’re stronger.