My saving grace

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is promoting good mental health and doing the things, however small, that make us happier.

Former art student, Lindsay Osborne, 29, from Kirriemuir was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and Type 11 bipolar when she was in her early 20s and has spent the last few years finding the best way to deal with her condition and move forward with her life.

Now, thanks to an innovative National Lottery funded environmental project, Greenbuds, run by Dundee Association for Mental Health Association (DAMH), Lindsay is beginning to regain her confidence and re-discover her passion for art.

Lindsay leading one of the sessions she put together

Lindsay explained, “Greenbuds has been my saving grace in many ways. I have found a new family here and it’s helped me begin to trust people and I am beginning to engage with the world again.

DAMH received £141,014 from the Big Lottery Fund in February 2016 to run a service supporting local people to be able to access the natural environment around them, helping to improve their mental wellbeing and reduce any stress and anxiety.

Lindsay continued,” I have never been in a situation where I have been a part of something along with people who have similar struggles and battles as me. I have gone through some very dark times in the past and I have mostly been left to deal with my condition alone.

“I felt like I was always being pulled backwards and, until now, I don’t think I have ever fully learned to look ahead or make any plans. The truth is, I still want to work in a creative field, but I am terrified of displaying any personal work to anyone, so much so that I got rid of most of it.”

Lindsay spends much of her spare time using her art school training to develop a series of creative sessions for the project, including nature journaling and arts and crafts.  She channels her artistic energy researching, planning and sourcing material for the workshops and all the time her confidence is building, slowly but surely.

Lindsay is cautiously optimistic about what the future might hold. She said, “My life has changed so much in the last few months. I now work part time for a lovely organisation and volunteer at Greenbuds whenever I get the chance. These are huge accomplishments and I need to learn to be proud of myself for living my life to the best of my ability and fighting my illness every day. “

Greenbuds is one of 67 mental health awareness projects to have shared in £8.7m of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland over the last year.

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