R U OK Day is Thursday 13th September.
Mental Health is everyone’s responsibility and it is a delight to share this story from a friend of SA Police Legacy.
If you, or anyone else you know, needs help please contact beyondblue.
‘A Yarn with Lesley’ started at the end of March. I was half way through a program with The Road Home, called STAIR. I remember telling the group that I love to crochet and I’d like to teach it. BUT, and there are always buts with depression and anxiety, my shed wasn’t really finished and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to cope with teaching others a craft that I had self-taught only 18 months before. One of the quotes that the psychiatrist said at the course, ‘what we practice is what we get very good at DOING’ made my brain stop and think about it. I was starting to get really anxious about all the changes and uncertainty that was happening at work, one of the reasons I did the course in the first place actually. The facilitator was trying to tell us it was important to embrace the methods AND to DO them. Each week we added a new tool in our back pocket ready to pounce whenever the dreaded thoughts or feelings started to fester in our brains.
Anxiety has helped me to stay safe since 2004 however it has also stopped me from DOING some things that appeared to be overwhelming. So at the end of March I “facebook messaged” my friends and told them I was DOING it.
Ok. ‘A Yarn with Lesley’ begins.
Every Tuesday evening between 6-9pm my ‘She Shed’ will be open to ANYONE who wants to learn crochet, sit and stitch/knit/crochet or just come for a coffee/tea and have a yarn!
I have plenty (believe me) hooks you can borrow and left over yarn for you to get started.
Wear something comfortable. My shed is insulated and air conditioned.
Come and learn a new skill. You know you want to! Best of all, there is no cost involved.
PM me for my address if interested.
It was out there now. I thought I’d test my skills on a very small group first and see what happened. There were 6 of us on that first night. We laughed and laughed and laughed all night and couldn’t believe how quick the time went. EVERYONE started crocheting that night and left with a piece of fabric that they had created. It was so satisfying to see people get excited about making their first stitch. It made me feel warm inside and the anxiety that I felt before wasn’t there anymore.
As the weeks have gone on, the group has evolved into a real community night. I make soup, another person brings homemade herb bread and at least one other brings a dessert. We learn together and ‘right the world’. The mix of attendees is also fantastic, from two 15 year old boys all the way to 70 and 80 plus. There are between 10-14 people who attend regularly. We have a closed Facebook page and share patterns and our current WIPs (work in progress). I look forward to every Tuesday evening and I talk about the group all week. This has been a really uplifting experiment for me that I’ll probably continue well after I have retired from SAPOL.
Some people felt that they needed to contribute to the night and wanted to pay me. I suggested that if that is what they needed to do they could donate a gold coin and I’d give it to 801 Mental Health Inc.
801Mental Health Inc. is a not for profit organisation in its infancy and needs startup funds to reach its full potential. I am on the committee and we want to help coppers, and their families, when there seems to be no way out.
Your mental health doesn’t have to be who you are or how you are perceived. It is just the same as your physical health. When we share our physical ailments with one another we learn that there are many with the same conditions. The same can be said with our mental health.
Talk to someone. DO something different.
Take the time to listen to others and keep laughing. Your mental health starts with YOU… so go and DO something that you will get good at. Make time to have fun, your loved ones want you to laugh out loud.
Our first joint project. Each one is unique even though we all used the same weighted yarn and the same sized hook. They remind me that we all create individual memories from the same set of circumstances however we are all amazing. Cuteness overload.