Clubhouse Network customer, Steve, had no history of mental health issues, but that changed when he suffered a stroke.
“Five years ago, I tried to take my life. I had a stroke, which affected my mobility and stopped me from working. I used to do air conditioning in new builds like Tesco stores around the country and travelled a lot. I’d gone to the Job Centre to get my benefit and I’d just had enough; a member of staff said something about seeing me next time and I told him he wouldn’t because I was going to kill myself. He told me about Brighter Futures and I went straight to The American.
“I’ve never seen a GP about it, only Brighter Futures staff, and I’ve been coming ever since. I come about four days a week and I’ve started to take art classes here. I’ve always been interested in cartoons so I thought I’d give it a go and I really enjoy it.
“Depression is still there in the back of my mind and sometimes my lack of mobility gets me down. I’d been working for 43 years before I had the stroke so it’s frustrating to not be able to do some of the things I could do before.
When I told my family they’d just say to snap out of it, but I think a lot of people didn't take it seriously because I was such a laid-back guy, always joking, that they couldn’t understand how bad it was.
“If anyone is at that low point, I would say don’t do it, there’s a way forward. I know, I’ve been there. There’s help there all over the UK and if you can’t tell your friends or family, tell a professional because talking is important. The staff at The American really listen and make time for you.”