As an Occupational Therapist, I understand the value of engaging in meaningful activity – be it employment, voluntary work, or art and craft activities. From working in the disability sector, I have seen so many benefits for people who have a physical or mental health condition when they engage in an activity that has meaning for them. From my own perspective, I have found immense satisfaction from crafting – it helps with managing stress, makes you feel good when you master new techniques and skills, and is rewarding when you can make lovely items for yourself and your family.
I have just heard about a new book, Crochet Saved My Life, by Kathryn Vercillo, which suggests that the age-old craft of crochet is not just a hobby but can actually be a life-saving tool with benefits for people trying to overcome the difficulties of a diverse range of physical and mental health conditions. Crochet Saved My Life uses a combination of memoir, biography and research to explore how crochet has been used both historically and in modern times to help people heal from depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, pregnancy complications, chronic pain conditions and even early Alzheimer’s.