James Crystal uses his transformational story to inspire hope, empower his audiences. He aims to encourage constructive conversations around often taboo subjects such as mental health and substance abuse.
About James Crystal
James Crystal was released from prison in 2016 fighting a losing battle with substance abuse and mental health. He had been diagnosed with depression and PTSD two years earlier. James is on a mission to prove people wrong, to prove to society that change is possible and to motivate people to keep on going even when you are faced with unimaginable adversity. As James says, “When the winds are against you it often means you are going in the right direction.”
James Crystal found himself in a serious rut within a few months of being released from prison, overdosing on his prescribed medication, not eating, not speaking to anyone, and sleeping over 18 hours a day. He couldn’t imagine ever getting free from the plummeting spiral that had become his life. There was no hope, the situation was too far gone. He fully accepted and expected to would die a broken piece, a lost cause, in the deep cavern that had become his life.
James thought it was too late, that he was beyond help. Unbelievably, a year later James was invited to speak at a conservative conference to over 100 MP’s. He shared his story candidly, from the heart and in a way which, unbelievably, resonated with his audience and drove many of them to tears of joy. James remembers one or two delegates speaking to him afterwards and thanking him for giving them the confidence to speak up about their own experiences, some for the first time.
James never planned to get into speaking publicly however after the first time he did it and seeing the profound impact his story had on those who heard it he realised that it would be selfish not to continue doing so. Being able to use his pain for purpose fills James with deep satisfaction and he feels extremely blessed and privileged to be able to do this in organisations, institutions, and establishments. James openly admits he is extremely grateful for everything he has been through because it has made him into the man that he is today. Someone he is proud of. Someone who can lead and influence people for good.
James Crystal is the co-founder of Eeverse, an ethically driven lifestyle brand combining sustainable and well-being practices to create positive change for people and the planet. Eeverse donates 20% of its profits to James’ non-profit CIC which puts on educational charity events with the vision being to help reduce the UK mental health statistics.
James is also in his third year of university studying Business Management and is due to graduate in January 2022. After he graduates, he will be starting a pilot programme to provide prison leavers with educational opportunities and peer support.
"James Crystal’s delivery comes straight from the heart; his sincerity is indisputable. His story is an unvarnished account of his life, and it’s not an easy listen, but making the effort reaps enormous rewards - it’s incredibly powerful and deeply compelling. His message of redemption and rehabilitation, and finding the strength to overcome incredible hurdles, is inspiring and one I believe needs to be shared across all audiences. It has been a tremendous privilege to work with James and I would thoroughly recommend him as a speaker."
"James presented the most inspirational webinar to Home Office staff for world mental health day - the session was watched across the civil service. James spoke with passion and determination. The audience were captivated and the feedback was all positive. James is professional , reliable and courteous, he has a truly amazing story to tell that encourages people to look at ex offenders in a completely different way - thanks so much James - I hope we can work together again."
Lucy Vallis, Home Office