“I am a service user from Accrington, I have been a service user for approximately 2 years after I was forced to leave my employment due to a physical disability. This unfortunately was the trigger for my increasing depression and anxiety.
Over the past 2 years I have been subjected to every kind of therapy I could imagine however the only thing apart from the support of my friends and loved ones that has helped me to manage is my increased love of photography. This started as nothing more than taking a few snaps of my travels whilst working as an international coach driver (the job I was forced to leave) but has grown with me throughout probably what are the darkest moments of my life. My increased passion for this art has shown me that there is a whole new side to me that I never knew existed.
I was never any good at art and to this day I still can’t draw or paint but I have found that with a little help from a magical box, I too can create beautiful images. I now look at art in a completely new light an with a new found understanding. It has brought me a whole new circle of friends and companions who I can share new experiences with, and slowly I am starting to enjoy my new self and to believe that I have a purpose and an identity again. I have also been fortunate enough to use my new-found skills to help others in similar situations to myself, as well as being featured in a couple of exhibitions and local arts and heritage projects.
I continue to recieve support for my mental health issues through Hyndburn community restart but I feel that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel (albeit quite a way off yet).