After experiencing a nervous breakdown and series of bereavements, Steve sought solace in photography. Thanks to help, guidance and a grant from Clarion Futures, he was able to turn his hobby into a force for good.
“It was Maria from Clarion Futures who noticed that my passion for photography, which I use as a means of combatting my mental health problems, had potential and encouraged me and my business partner to set up Click Therapy CIC.
“For years I worked very long hours, until in 2014 I suffered a nervous breakdown and was signed off. I tried everything – the doctors, tablets, therapy, nothing worked.
“Then one day I decided to escape the four walls of my house and started going on walks, taking photographs. I found that not only was it helping me stay mentally and physically healthy, but I felt like I was achieving something. It kept me going through a number of family bereavements.
“After putting on an exhibition at my local community centre, Maria said: ‘you could make a business out of this’. I thought she was joking!
“With her support in gaining a Clarion Futures grant, we’re now running a free photography group for people in the community who suffer from mental health problems, social isolation or bereavement.
Click Therapy CIC is more than just taking photos – we offer a support network to those who are struggling.
“The unique selling point of our group is you don’t need a professional camera – a smartphone or tablet will suffice.
“We teach our members photography skills and give guidance on how to use free editing apps. We sometimes have a studio day, where we set up lights and backdrops and members are given assignments that can be achieved at home.
“Click Therapy CIC is more than just taking photos – we offer a support network to those who are struggling and help them work through their problems.
“We get it. You can learn about mental health, but you’ll never understand what it’s like to live with it unless you’ve experienced it. To date, we’ve helped more than 125 people in our area.
“If it wasn’t for Clarion Futures and Maria’s help, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now and have gained the skills I hold. For that I am thankful.”