My Journey with Take Off – Martin from Canterbury

It’s difficult to list all the ways that Take Off has supported and helped me, as it has happened in so many ways and over a long time.


As a person with PTSD and severe depression I found it difficult to leave my flat and to be with people I didn’t know. I think the first group I went to was an in-person group; I was so anxious but the fact that they clearly ‘got me’, understood and didn’t judge made all the difference.

They gave me a place in my world where people were not threatening, which helped counter my view that the world was too scary and horrible to live in. When COVID hit it was Take Off that was my only safe point of contact with the world; the online sessions regularly kept me this side of safe – I can honestly say Take Off has kept me alive on more than one occasion.

More than that, I picked up so many helpful tips from the other members of the group, and when I could support or encourage them it really helped with my self-worth.

Take Off also reduced my use of statutory services-the Sunday Crisis groups, and all the other groups for that matter, meant than when I was in a bad way, or something bad happened, I could hold the feelings until the next meeting (usually on the same or next day) rather than go to A&E or phone the Beacon Crisis team.

Over time, I guess I ended up valuing myself because the people who I valued clearly valued me; one of the many ‘Take Off Effects’. I started at Take Off as someone who woke up every morning wanting not to exist, and had no self-care routines – I didn’t wash myself, my clothes or tidy my flat and I didn’t go out. Thanks to their help, I now look after myself properly, my flat is tidy, and my depression is much reduced – I haven’t attempted or even had the impulse to kill myself for the last 9 months.

I caught a train for the first time the other day, I’ve started going for walks and to cafes, and have even started exploring opportunities for voluntary work with a MH charity. I have attended activities with other organisations but none feel as natural and safe – not sure whether it’s the natural empathy and skills of the people who run the groups or the training they receive but they are genuinely awesome.


Find out more about Take Off via their website or get in touch at [email protected]

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