Talking about mental health 

​Much has been written about the positive impact crafts can have on those suffering with mental health problems, in particular knitting and crochet. 
The repetition of the stitches promotes mindfulness and has a calming influence. Following a pattern provides a way to shut out chaotic thoughts and concentrate on the task in hand. Successfully completing a project can boost self esteem. 
Suicide rates among men are growing at an alarming rate. Yet men are underrepresented among knitters and crocheters. Without wanting to over simplify what is clearly a major social issue, I believe that if we can promote these crafts as a therapy there can be a positive impact on the lives of many men. 
There is still the belief that knitting and crochet are ‘women’s things’. This is something that needs to be overcome. One of the reasons for the increase in male suicide is that men feel the need to remain ‘masculine’ and therefore don’t talk about their problems. So knitting and crochet could be seen as a ‘threat’ to that ‘masculinity’.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that mental health, particularly among men, is something that needs to be talked about in a more positive manner. It’s not weak to admit you are struggling or to seek help. I’m guilty of having those feelings myself, but a combination of talking therapy and my discovery of the benefits of crochet have helped me immensely.

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