The mental health benefits of crafting are huge. According to Healthline crafting can help reduce anxiety, improve mood, and increase happiness – all of which can help fight depression. Mental health is something we at Jesmonite prioritise for our staff. We have also heard many stories of people crafting with our water-based material to benefit them in this way. This is something we love to hear and champion.
Kara Vitale, based in Canada, started using Jesmonite in 2021 after suffering postpartum depression when her youngest child was born a year earlier. Managing anxiety and depression – She has suffered with anxiety and depression on and off since she was a teenager, but had been managing well most of her adult life.
“After having my second child in May 2020, during the pandemic, things got a lot harder,” she said.
“My husband worked away and not being able to go anywhere, do anything or see anyone became very isolating at times.
“When I started creating with Jesmonite, it was amazing to have something that was just for me and I felt like I had an extra purpose. Mothers sometimes forget to look out for themselves but creating different things helped spark creativity I didn’t know I had.
“I’ve got more self confidence now, there’s so much love and excitement with each piece that you create. I have also been introduced to an amazing community of makers, I have met so many people from all over the world and made a few friends.
“I definitely think all kinds of crafting can help with mental health. It gives your mind something else to focus and work on. Working with your hands can be so beneficial. If you are thinking of starting to work with Jesmonite, do your research and check out so many of the amazing makers out there and how they can inspire you.” Kara began using Jesmonite as a hobby but it quickly turned into a fast growing business. She launched Siena Style, lovingly named after her daughter, and sells homeware and decor.
Similarly, Suezan of @suezanart, based in the Netherlands, knows full well the mental health benefits of crafting.
Creativity instead of medication
Suezan deals with being bipolar and prefers to use a creative outlet rather than medication.
She said: “Art and being creative is an essential part of me. The times I took meds to stabilize the moods, it always got me more depressed because it took away my creativity.
“Crafting in general can help when going through mentally rough times. Something simple, working with the hands, and seeing the result growing in front of your eyes. It’s a good distraction, keeping busy is key.
“And with Jesmonite – even if you never had any experience – it can be great to learn something new that isn’t hard and gives a beautiful result.
“Casting with Jesmonite requires me to focus and work with my hands. The mixing, adding colours and pouring are very relaxing to do – and the most satisfying moment is when it’s time to de-mould, it’s like opening a present. It’s such a great feeling.”
She added: “We talk about mental health – illness – disorder. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me.
“It only is a “problem”, when it’s standing in the way of what someone wants to achieve, or when it’s harming them or obstructing daily life.
Suezan said mental health doesn’t necessarily need “fixing”. She said accepting who you are and the creative process that’s unique to you makes all the difference.
“I think we are missing out on some extremely talented artists, who we will never see because of the way society, social media and the internet talks about mental health,” she said.
For more information on Suezan visit her Instagram.
For more information on Kara Vitaleand Siena Style visit her Instagram.