AN inspiring project sharing experiences of people's mental health battles was showcased during a book launch at the Beacon.

Magic Torch Comics CIC ran a series of workshops with people being supported by organisations in Inverclyde and they have now published a collection of their stories.

Greenock Telegraph:

People who had taken part, plus those who had supported them, joined author Paul Bristow for the launch of the 'Ways Through the Woods' collection at the arts centre venue.

Paul said: "We worked with lots of local groups, such as Mind Mosaic, Safe Harbour, the Recovery Cafe at Your Voice, and with groups across Inverclyde and individuals.

"This was a bit different to the work we normally do as it focused on adults. A lot of work we do with comics is with children.

"We got the voices of adults telling their stories in different ways, funny, sad and hopeful."

People affected by a range of issues such as childhood trauma, depression, bereavement and anxiety took part in the project, revealing how they tackled their problems and are now looking towards a brighter future.

Anthony Popolo Rubbio, who is an illustrator and graphic designer, used a ghost story to share his experiences of nightmares and depression.

He said: "I have had nightmares since I was a kid but now I accept them and when I wake up I remember them. After studying at the school of art, I can transform them into something positive, into a painting."

Anthony, 50, suffers from depression and anxiety and chronic pain following surgery. He has been getting support from Your Voice and says he finds an outlet through playing guitar with other musicians there, as well as artwork.

He said: "I have chronic pain and suffer anxiety and depression but one of the things that saves me is drawing and painting.

"I wake up every morning living that day the best I can."

Anthony said he thoroughly enjoyed the project, which was supported by Inverclyde Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, and hopes that his story will help others.

He said: "The comic has been a great outlet for telling stories.

"I would say to people to find an outlet. Art has helped me and Your Voice has helped me a lot, just talking to other people who have problems."

* The new book is available online at