Craft and mental health

I want my work to include aspects which will aid mental health or well being, I found this article a very interesting start to understand what benefits craft can have. This article is evidence that mental health can be improved by using craft as a method for therapy as it gave individuals a purpose and a structure to their lifestyle.

This study presents insight into how the act of doing crafts in a group at a meeting place has facilitated stability and routines, skills and abilities, and peer support for people with mental health illness. The study thus contributes knowledge about the value of crafts, and how crafts are experienced as an activity with a low-risk threshold for participation, and that engagement in doing crafts together with peers supports the management of everyday occupations. Participants described the activity and its consequences to be what they needed to prevent re-hospitalization; they regarded crafts as a path to recovery. From any of these perspectives, the act of doing crafts in groups retains significant value for recovery and health promotion. P151

Horghagen, Fostvedt & Alsaker, 2014. Craft activities in groups at meeting places: supporting mental health users’ everyday occupations. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2014, Vol.21(2), p.145-152, 21(2), pp.145–152.

All through this benefits mental health, I want to research more into how an aesthetic of a piece can aid mental health.

I read an interesting article which discussed, On the one hand, artists as a group have above average rates of mental illness and neurodevelopment difficulties, such as dyslexia. Because creativity and mental illness are linked, can art work for mental health?

Psychiatrist and author Anthony Storr suggested that creativity, imagination, and inventiveness arise from a key human evolutionary adaption to respond flexibly to a changing environment and that this process inevitably leaves the individual out of step with reality at times. Storr believes when we perceive dissatisfaction in our lives, we can imagine and implement solutions that, like a work of art or a scientific hypothesis, impose a sense of coherence, proportion, or harmony that, albeit temporarily, eases the conflict in our lives or mind. His theory predicts that creative production might function as a defense against mental illness, but it also challenges our accepted standards of so-called normality and abnormality.

Morris, K., 2002. Does art work in mental health? The Lancet, 360(9339), p.1104.



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