Gareth, 51 from Burmantofts was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 15 after experiencing a childhood of abuse and drugs. Sometimes Gareth suffers with deep paranoia but by going to a day centre has helped him to cope with his illness a little better.
Gareth goes to Lovell Park Day Centre and since he’s been there, he has been able to mix with people and even become a role model for some of the other people who attend. He said: “attending Lovell Park makes me feel relaxed and part of a community again.”
Gareth is heavily involved in various committees and working groups and since working as a volunteer has successfully been employed to work with young offenders. He added: “It has taken a lot of years to come to terms with my life but there comes a point when I had to say, ‘OK I’m dealing with this’. The thoughts and pains are still there but Lovell Park has given me a purpose again. Keeping busy and getting involved in the groups helps me to get better and gives me some responsibility.”
To show his support and encourage others to speak out, Gareth will be attending the World Mental Health Day event on Thursday 10th October at Leeds Civic Hall. He’ll be entertaining visitors by playing music – one of the many ways he now keeps well.