Jonathan spoke to us about how the coronavirus pandemic impacted on his mental health. In the passage below, he talks about his experiences of feeling increasingly more withdrawn, and how reaching out to TALKWORKS helped him:
"I’m Jonathan Muse-Jones, better known as JONATHAN MARK - Personality Vocalist, Musician based in Torquay, South Devon. I’ve been a professional entertainer for almost 40 years. You would have thought that entertaining people and receiving applause in return, life would be hunky dory, but in March 2020, that all changed with the onset of Covid19.
I was increasingly watching more television, spending too much time on social media and unbeknown to me, I was pushing my family into the background, and becoming solitary. I was beginning to feel everything I did and said was wrong and it all came to a head one day when I snapped. My wife then said I needed to talk to someone.
I had been helped by TALKWORKS in the past, when feeling low, and turned to them for help, and thankfully they were there, and welcomed me with open arms.
During the first weekly telephone calls, I talked about my feelings and what was happening to me. I wasn’t in a situation where want to harm myself, but I felt if I died, no-one would care! I felt useless. My therapist explained what TALKWORKS were able to do to help me on a path to recovery and that they would be there whenever I need them.
I was asked, during ‘normal’ times if I had any interests. I love photography and was recommended to get out for a walk and take my camera. When restrictions were lifted, I chose a sunny day and made my way out of the door for the first time in a while. I drove to one of my favourite spots, Meadfoot Beach in Torquay and parked up. I breathed in the sea air and for the first time in a while felt alive.
The weekly phone calls continued, but as I slowly felt better in myself, these were extended to every two weeks. Eventually after a short while, I returned to performing and my life became ‘normal’ again.
As a man, we are expected to be strong and not talk about our feelings. If you are struggling in any way, please, please, please, talk to someone. A member of your family or a friend. Talking helps. TALKWORKS are there too and are extremely professional and have the experience to help, but more importantly, they LISTEN. That is vitally important to someone struggling with their mental health. But its far more important to TALK TO SOMEONE.
I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of TALKWORKS."
If you are experiencing low mood, feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, and are in need of support, you can talk to TALKWORKS. We are a team of qualified psychological wellbeing practitioners and psychological therapists, offering both face to face and remote appointments across Devon (excluding Plymouth - if you live in Plymouth, please contact Plymouth Options), to help you feel more like yourself again.
We are an inclusive service and we welcome referrals from people aged 18+, no matter their race, gender, sexuality or religion. You can refer yourself to TALKWORKS without needing to see a GP first, either by calling us on 0300 555 3344, or filling in the self-referral form here.