My Myplace Journey: David

Cain Scringemour

David shares his Myplace journey with us. Starting with the project just before the lockdown restrictions were imposed, David has experienced both face-to-face and online ecotherapy sessions which he says have helped him to feel more positive about the future.

Why did you decide to join the Myplace project?

Prior to joining the Myplace project I had moved from down south to Lancashire to help look after my terminally sick mother. Unfortunately, when she passed away I was left stuck in the area, unable to move due to financial reasons. I struggled with anxiety and isolation with no friends and a poor relationship with my family, 

Myplace Project Officer, Mike says: "before Myplace, David was socially isolated and didn’t really speak to anyone.  His only contact was via a friend he’d made online, but they live 7,000 miles away in another country.  When encountering problems, David entered a low mood, keeping to himself and avoiding people. His depression led to him withdrawing from social activities and becoming even more isolated.  This problem worsened and he became fearful, anxious and extremely scared of leaving the house due to victimisation by a neighbour.  All of these factors escalated and finally led to thoughts of ending his own life."

I first heard about Myplace whilst visiting my work coach at the job centre, where I was given a Myplace leaflet. With a keen interest in the natural world (birds in particular) the Myplace project seemed a perfect choice for me.

Mike says: "David was extremely nervous at first, but has challenged himself to do things that were extremely uncomfortable such as leave the house and meet up in public spaces.  A small, non-judgemental and friendly group also helped alleviate any initial concerns. 

David joined Myplace in March 2020, one week before Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were enforced. All except the first session have been conducted via the virtual online platform which has also helped David with potential conflicts within his neighbourhood. He has been a regular participant, rarely missing a Myplace session."

Workplace Wellbeing at Brockholes

Cain Scringemour

Where are you now? How have things changed since joining Myplace?

I'm starting to feel more positive about the future, although I still have a strong desire to leave the area.  I've been able to connect with new people and feel more comfortable asking for help, talking and sharing challenges and positives within the group.  A Myplace highlight for me was being asked to design and deliver a Bird Quiz as part of one of our sessions, At first the task felt a bit daunting but the group was really encouraging and after seeing how well received the quiz was my spirits were raised.

Mike says: "David's immense bird knowledge was clearly apparent, but self-doubt crept in when he was set the challenge to lead this activity.   He seemed both excited and anxious about this task, but the group reassured him and the focus of creating the quiz boosted his confidence and wellbeing.  David thrived from this sense of responsibility and worth.

Through our regular group check-in activity David has shared that he feels he is not alone and everyone has their own individual struggles – he has formed a sense of belonging. Activities and connection with the group has helped alleviate some of his anxieties and worries, making David feel less depressed, troubled and agitated. 

What is special about this story is the development of resilience that David has undergone whilst taking part in sessions. Although fear and anxiety still remains a large part of David’s life, confidence gained whilst being part of a non-judgemental supportive group participating with Myplace means he has developed some coping mechanisms so it doesn’t impact into every aspect of his life as before."

Could Myplace support you or someone you know?

If you are struggling, we can help.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation and social distancing measures we have developed free, online ecotherapy sessions for anyone aged 16 or over.

Our Myplace project has been running successfully since 2016 and since that time we have supported over 1000 people to live healthier, happier lives through regular contact with nature. Let us bring nature to you.

Find out more or sign-up to our online sessions today.

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