Photo credit: Total Shape
The Guardian released an article this week focusing on how creativity can support mental and physical well-being. Progressive GPs across the world are beginning to prescribe creativity as a treatment, a bit like how exercise is now prescribed in the UK. The 'Happy Hookers' are crochet enthusiasts with a difference...
As you can imagine, we were very pleased with this article and our colleague Fran wanted to learn more.
Creativity on prescription
I was intrigued by this article on creative well-being. One of the examples involved GPs in Australia who are now offering an 8-week programme called ‘Creativity on Prescription.’
Initially the GPs were reluctant to recommend craft and the arts as a therapy, but after recent studies demonstrated the effectiveness, they began to appreciate the preventative and curative health benefits of creativity.
I believe a daily dose of creativity is the best medicine; it focuses your mind and stops you thinking about the things you are worrying about.
Well-being and crochet - are you a 'happy hooker?'
Burns surveyed more than 8,000 crocheters, and found that 89.5% of respondents reported the craft made them feel calmer, while 82% felt happier.
‘With rising rates of mental health disorders being reported globally, it is imperative that we investigate economical and accessible ways to increase relaxation and reduce stress. While there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence as to the positive effects of domestic crafts on mental well-being, there is little empirical research in this area. As such, we aimed to explore perceived links between crochet and well-being.’
If you are a happy hooker, or want to be, you can to learn more about Dr Burns' research via the full article here.
What was your lockdown craft saviour?
We all know someone who says ‘I’m not creative… I don’t have an artistic bone in my body’ but we know different at CraftCourses. Everyone has the potential to be creative and to embrace the benefits of it.
Like Professor Burns, I have embraced the art of crochet through lockdown. Like many of us, I went through a phase of feeling isolated and pressured to pretend that ‘everything was normal' and paint on a smile, when the world around me was in turmoil. I needed a new craft that I could give my full attention to. I used online tutorials to begin with, lost my patience a few times, cursed the crochet hook, and then as I got to grips with structured methods and improved my skills, my confidence and satisfaction grew.
I worked on simple projects for beginners first, like crocheting a headband and then worked on more complex pieces, even learning the art of amigurumi crochet.
Some examples of Fran's crochet projects through lockdown
Creative well-being workshops:
Are you in favour of arts on prescription?
Have any of you had a social prescription? We would love to hear what your experience was and how easy it was to access via your GP.
Based on the research, do you feel this is the way forward? And how has your experience led you to this belief?
We love hearing from you so please Contact Us with your stories!