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Manchester busker pays for therapy with takings after being 'let down' by NHS

  • Busker uses takings to pay for therapy.
  • After 13 assessments from NHS he felt like they turned their back on him.
  • Busking was 'a means to an end' but now the most magical thing he has done to date.

A busker in Manchester centre is using his takings to pay for private mental health therapy sessions.

Arthur Hannan, a full-time busker, 28, who is originally from Cardiff has been living and busking in Manchester since 2012.

He generally busks in the centre of town, in places like Exchange Square or on Market Street.

After university, Arthur suffered a mental breakdown when one of his friends passed away, as well as a break-up and losing his job.

He said: “It actually took me over two years to realise I’d had a mental breakdown. I became a drug addict and that’s why I began busking, to pay for the drugs. It was just a means to an end.”

Arthur always suffered with his mental health but he had the added stress of a medical condition called gynecomastia which contributed to that.

He said: “I was always a sensitive person as a child and teenager and I was chronically depressed and suicidal from the age of 11 up until I was 18.”

By the time Arthur was 18 he had had 18 operations to help with his gynecomastia and he stated that the NHS saved his life and gave him a reason to live again but when it came to his mental health he felt that they turned their back on him. 

 “In my view, the NHS has well trained professionals but the money isn’t there. When it comes to mental health, unless you go to them with visible cuts on your wrists or noose marks on your neck, it’s not urgent enough for you to get the help you need,” he said.

After more than eight years of busking, Arthur is now using his earnings to pay for private therapy sessions which seem to be helping him a lot. He even has a card machine to take payments.

He was not always a music enthusiast and only became interested in a very limited range of music in his teenage years but now it is his life.

He said: “What started out as a way to get money for drugs, has become a magical and wonderful experience for me and the best thing I have done to date.” 

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