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Calling All Creative


People! YES – THAT’S YOU!


By Natalie McCulloch


Do you experience mental health issues? Would you like to get creative in aid of a good cause? If so, please consider getting involved in our ‘Stitching Out Stigma’ campaign.


The project consists of individuals creating a unique 10 x 10 inch square cross stitch block illustrating their interpretations, experiences, and ideas of mental health. These squares will then be sewn together to create a larger display(s) for Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 which takes place between 11-17 May, with the theme being ‘relationships’.


The finished pieces will then be displayed all around the UK in order to raise awareness and fight the sad stigma and misconceptions often associated with mental health issues. In Cardiff, Llanover hall have kindly agreed to display the end project which is fantastic news!


We are thrilled that St Fagan’s Museum are ‘on board’ to host sewing groups for this project in Cardiff. Group dates have yet to be set, but they invite sewers to use their existing ‘Craft sessions’ to take part if they wish, details can be found on the Museum website. Individuals can also sew in the comfort of their own homes and send completed pieces to the Museum FAO: Sian Lile-Pastore. Our aim is to get other venues on board to help ‘Stitching Out Stigma’ spread nationwide and alongside this, increase awareness and the opportunity to do something good for a great cause!


So far we’ve also had support from UWE, ‘Cross Stitch Crazy’ magazine, ‘Stitchlinks’ and the ‘Mental Health Foundation’!


There are no rules, no charge, and everyone is welcome! It would be brilliant to construct a real representation of how diverse individuals and their experiences of different conditions.


Statistics by the mental health foundation suggest that 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. With 10% of children experiencing mental health disorders at any one point. The most common being depression and anxiety. Shocking statistics, and sadly these are just estimations so might not accurately represent those undiagnosed. On top of this, it is rare that a day goes by where mental health – treatment, disorders or suffers do not feature in the media. Luckily, more is being done daily, disorders are getting recognition they deserve and need, and research is being funded – but more needs to be done to raise funds, awareness and fight the sad stigma surrounding conditions.


Plenty of research suggests creative hobbies such as cross stitch, as well as participating in projects, can have many benefits to the individual and society. So there is even more reason to ‘get out the Aida and let your creativity flow!’


Although it is very much still in its ‘bare threads’ as a project, having only been ‘thought up’ in May 2014, many people have already expressed interest. Interested to find out more? Why not check us out on Facebook ‘Stitching Out Stigma’ or log onto www.stitchingoutstigma.co.uk to find out more!


References:- http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/ mental-health-statistics/


Piece by Sharlot May 67


Piece by Charlotte Compton 67


Cardiff Times • www.cardiff-times.co.uk


Piece by Becky Griffiths


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