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Blog: Toby’s story

Man and woman sing joyfully - Creative Directions group - darts in Doncaster

Toby* is a regular attender of Creative Directions, our weekly art workshops for people experiencing mental health difficulties. He chatted to us about how Creative Directions has helped him.

My journey started by me getting a befriender from MIND. The first day I was to go to Creative Directions, I was terrified to the point I did not sleep the night before.

Please let me tell you a little about myself. I suffer both mental and physical disabilities. I have had depression since the age of 3 and diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at the age of 51. I have numerous physical disabilities which force me to use crutches and, for longer periods, a wheelchair. Before going to Creative Directions I was acrophobic and would not go out.

Back to that first day. I was to meet my befriender outside of the building, so as to ease me into the group. I was so nervous I was shaking from head to toe. We proceeded to go to the café area as we were about half an hour early, so we could get to know each other. A few people said hello and I tried to say it back, the best I could through chattering teeth. At half past one everyone got up to go to the room. We all found a seat and it was the end of a 10-week run of drama, so I just sat and watched. It was very good and I got to learn a few names of people there.

The next 10 weeks were music, playing drums etc. I started where you could not even hear my drum, but after 8 weeks I had gained confidence and was banging as loud as the rest of the people there.

I have now been going to The Point for Creative Directions for ten months. I know a lot of the people that go there now, and I can talk to them. I can join in with the group activities and even go out at home. Many thanks to all the staff and volunteers.

I love going to Creative Directions for a few reasons: One; you don’t feel judged by anyone. we are all one big community. Two; the people that run the place are so kind and understanding of many needs. Three; I love the activities that we get to do, which in our normal lives we would never get to do.

Creative Directions is a group for adults that uses art workshops to help people experiencing mental health difficulties get back on track. Our artists have designed creative activities to help you express yourself and develop new friendships, learn new skills and ignite new passions. The workshops are free to any adult experiencing mental health difficulties or feelings of loneliness and stress. Click here to read our FAQ guide about the sessions.

*Not his real name

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