Class is helping people cope with depression

Gilly Towler, art tutor for the mental heath group at Sunshine House, Scholes
Gilly Towler, art tutor for the mental heath group at Sunshine House, Scholes

A WIGAN mum who suffered anxiety and depression has transformed her life through art therapy and is urging other people with similar worries to have a go.

When Gilly Towler was diagnosed with Systemic Sclerosis 18 months ago her life was turned upside down. She was in constant pain and became depressed and anxious.

But then she took part in art classes, run by Active Living, at Sunshine House, Scholes, with other people who were suffering from mental health issues.

When Active Living could no longer run the workshops, she decided to run them herself and is loving her new responsibility

She is also leading an art project with pupils of St Catharine’s Primary School and Rosebridge High School.

Gilly, a former nurse and mother-of-four, said: “The group is specifically for people who have depression and anxiety. We all really like it, as we have made great friends and look out for each other.

“When we were told the classes were to be stopped due to lack of funding, we were really gutted, so I decided to keep it going and run it myself.

“I have done a bit of art teaching and am qualified in 3D design and art.

“We do lots of different things - art and craft, painting, pottery, graphic design and mixed media and printing.

“It gets people out of the house and it is lifting people’s moods, as we have a cup of tea and a good natter. At first I was frightened of running it, but now I am loving it.”

Sunshine House has health trainers who support people who attend the art group as a self-referral.

For more information call Barbara Nettleton on 01942 515519.