Art helped me on the road to recovery from depression


Art helped me on the road to recovery

Annette was admitted to hospital a number of times as a result of her depression and her relationships struggled to cope. She started attending art classes and art became her passion and she since set up her own business.

Annette’s story

Annette Duncan has suffered from depression for many years but her passion for art has helped her on the road to recovery. Here she tells her story:

“When I left school I trained as a graphic designer at college and went on to have a few jobs in the art industry. I started suffering from depression in my early 20s. I became very unwell at times and was admitted to hospital on six occasions.

I got married and had two children but my husband became unable to cope with my mood swings and left when my boys were just one and two years old. After three years of just about coping as a single parent, the thought of the potential loss of my house sent me plummeting into a severe bout of depression. My children were taken away from me and went to live with their dad and his partner.

I was given support from the Ebenezer centre, now known as Calderdale Inclusion Support Service (CISS), provided by the Trust and Calderdale Council. I began attending an art class and, in time, I took over the teaching of this class. I taught at the centre for quite a few years, passed a teaching qualification at college and after four years, and another baby boy, I became well enough to have my older boys back living with me.

When the centre was going through changes we were encouraged to go out into the community. I went along to the Salvation Army on St James’ Road, Halifax, to a meeting about the setting up of an art class. This is a wonderful art class that attracts people from all walks of life. We have a group of people who have learning disabilities and a lot of referrals from people who have mental health issues. We have members that are professional artists but also a lot of beginners and the class became so popular that we had to start another group on Fridays.

Teaching these art classes has become my passion. I love it; I love the interaction with people and seeing them enjoying the classes. As a result of this class, I have been teaching an art class at my local church for the past year, am starting an art class in the workshop next to Refresh Café at the Piece Hall, and I have also started my own business, called Peace of Art.

Art made me well and now I can look forward to my future.”

Annette is always looking for new students for her art classes. Call her on 07925 763481 for more details.