John’s Story…

The challenges I faced when starting on ATI were feeling suicidal, self doubt, frustration at being unable to define myself in life, anxiety and depression, being alone, vulnerable and having fallen through all the gaps in life. Too much education and not enough experience. Long term unemployment. Inappropriate work led to a feeling of being a ‘loose cannon’.

I am now beginning to relax and starting to understand the meaning of ‘inclusion’ and its bearing on mental illness. Stress and anxiety I think has had a strong relation to my illness which has presented as Parkinson’s Disease. To understand this would dissolve the barriers to recovery in the sense of coping with the disease.

Yoga classes have begun to show me that it is feasible to remove the tensions that are causing my back to be bent and my legs and arms to be going rigid.  The volunteer training at Orb Community Arts has brought me closer to meaningful inclusion in the arts centre.

ATI has provided the funding to keep these interventions viable. It has created a sense of secure support.

I have accessed the volunteer training at Orb, the yoga classes and a weekly option for alternative therapy with a practitioner in Reiki or acupuncture. I have also had support and encouragement from my key worker at Orb.

I am becoming progressively disabled by Parkinson’s Disease. The ATI programme is my source of positive intervention to manage this in a supportive environment.