1. ITV Report

Man who struggled with his mental health says photography has helped him 'turn his life around'

A man from Birmingham who has struggled with his mental health since he was 17-years-old has described how photography has helped him turn his life around, as he launches his first photo exhibition.

Karl Newton says his life "spiralled out of control" in his twenties as his struggles with his mental health and addiction intensified.

There were various suicide attempts and self-harming, in-and-out of treatment for years.


After what he describes as a "serious mental health lapse" over Christmas, he threw himself into photography.

Karl says it has had a dramatic effect on his wellbeing and he has now launched his first photo exhibition called 'Beautiful Birmingham'.

He hopes the works will promote the beauty of his home city - and equally promote the benefits of photography and creativity and wellbeing and mental health.

Karl now works as a substance abuse worker, supporting people who are in a similar position to where he once was.

It’s really nice being able to give back and help other people get recovery and make that difference that I would have wished for.

The way I look at it, when I see a client, I think what would I have wanted as a service user when I was nervous, when I wasn’t really sure about accessing a service, and I try and be that person now.

That’s a really beautiful thing and it’s something I love waking up to do every morning.