Toby … Behind The Smile
Living With Paranoid Schizophrenia
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Toby is our new Senior Artist in Residence here at Street Life People …
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On Mens International Day, I wanted to share Toby’s story with you, one of the most talented UK artists of today, Toby also lives with Paranoid Schizophrenia.
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Currently working on projects under our SLP Creative Arts Collective, and busy in his studio creating masterpieces for his 2021 Art Exhibition Behind The Smile …
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Diagnosed in 2009 while in hospital under section, Toby then became homeless following his marriage breakdown. Living in a caravan parked up on an industrial estate, Toby decided to pick up the paintbrush again after years of not painting, and as Toby says the rest is history …
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See Toby’s amazing artwork on our working in partnership page … streetlifepeople.com
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STREET LIFE PEOPLE … GIVING A VOICE TO EVERYDAY PEOPLE … REAL LIFE … RAW … UNFILTERED …

tobybrownartist.com

www.rethink.org

Chase … Opening up is more than ok …
Suicide prevention & awareness
MENS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
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Working with Chase today these words touched my heart to the core, and it’s this kind of raw emotion which will create change in mental health and let others know out there who relate to this, one they are not alone, and two that there is always light at the end of the tunnel during dark times and it’s always ok to express that emotion and reach out for support available when needed.
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I’m Chase Marks, 37 years old and for several years I have fantasised about my own suicide.
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I use the word fantasy to make a strong distinction – I have never attempted suicide or made a detailed plan to do so. But in my daily life I’ve have the unbearable urge to think about it. It took a long time to open up about these thoughts but once I did I realised just how common a bracket I found myself in.
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For me and so many others depression was something I hid behind a huge grin, was the life and soul of the party and the shoulder for others to cry on. But not taking enough time for ourselves catches up with us and the thoughts of suicide eventually become too much to keep a secret.
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My first confession of these thoughts was several years ago. It was a dramatic scene, crying with my partner on the bathroom floor, feeling shamed and fearful of the burden I now placed on her. But looking back now the situation feels so far removed from the couple we are today. That was the lowest I have ever felt, the only way out was truly upwards and a long journey to council my way out of depression and connect with others like myself.
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Because of my bravery on that day it led me to accept and believe that with counselling and perseverance you are able to continue no matter how hard daily life can be and how frequent thoughts become.
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So if you meet someone like me make sure you offer them hope. Help them build something to live for, until the odds against those thoughts are always in their favour. Because I hear those whispers every day and I’m still here.
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SAMARITANS: call 116 123 for free, anytime
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CALM (for men) call 0800 58 58 58
from 5pm – midnight, 365 days a year