Catriona’s own battle with depression inspired her new career where she helps others

Catriona Paton
Catriona Paton

After a series of tragic and traumatic events Catriona Paton secretly battled with depression.

But after a seven year journey she now works with people from Gainsborough who are experiencing mental health difficulties, social isolation and low-confidence.

Catriona said: “I support them to rebuild themselves and their lives, usually after a period of immense difficulty or a degree of trauma.

“I have also served on the steering group for the Shine mental health support network in Lincolnshire for approximately two and a half years.”

Catriona delivers the Pathway to Wellness programme at Riverside Training and Access Centre which is in its third year of funding from the Mental Health Promotion Fund and she also delivers courses for Riverside Training that help people to improve their mental, physical, emotional and social health.

These include Boost Your Self-Esteem, Weigh to Wellness and the Essential Guide to Mental Health.

Catriona said: “I actually won Lincolnshire County Council Tutor of the Year for the Boost Your Self-Esteem course in it’s first year.

“The award was based on making a positive contribution to people’s lives. I was really very chuffed to receive it in my first year of tutoring.”

Catriona also supports people to rebuild themselves and their lives at x-church kitchen and community cafe in Ashcroft Road, Gainsborough. This work is funded by both the People’s Health Trust and the Mental Health Promotion Fund.

But Catriona says her biggest acheivement has been developing the ‘Find Your Mojo’ course.

She said: “I developed the course from scratch based on my own experiences and working up close and personal with almost 2,000 people over the last eight years.

“We have run two of these at x-church courtesy of funding from Comic Relief.

“The breakthroughs that people are making on Mojo are just staggering and we receive excellent personal feedback on this.

“People cannot believe the positive changes in themselves and their lives after just a few short hours of being ‘Mojo’d’.

“I am really proud of Mojo as it has taken a lot of effort and many years to create, and I truly believe it is a ground-breaking approach to mental health recovery.

“Mojo can’t eradicate the past, but it can release the emotional attachment to it and free people up for a better future.”

It was in 2004 that Catriona’s life was turned upside down when she was 40-years-old.

She said: “It is because of my experiences that I feel so passionate about the work that I do.

“I am on a mission to prevent anyone from hitting the depths of despair that I did.

“And if I can’t prevent it, at least I can give them the ladders to help themselves out of the darkness.

“Now I have an ambitious dream.

“I want to contribute to a community that is understanding and supportive of how it feels to be mentally unwell.

“I want people to know that mental health is not a mystery that happens to other people. We all have a life and sometimes things can go horribly wrong.

“I want people to know the causes and symptoms of early stage mental distress.

“I want them to know how to support and signpost someone whether it be a friend, colleague, family member of neighbour.

“I want everyone in our community to ‘Find their Mojo’ so that we can spread positive contagion.

“I want to play a part in building a thriving community that supports each other through the good times and the bad.

“It’s a big dream I know, but without a dream, the end-goal can never be reached.”