27th October 2023
World Mental Health Day was observed earlier this month. In recognition of the day, Fine Cell Work published an email that highlighted some of the benefits time with needle and thread contributes to the mental health of prisoners who participate in their program throughout the UK.
The email opened with some concerning statistics. As of 6th October 2023, there were 88,016 people being housed in prisons throughout England and Wales, double the number just 30 years ago. Of those 88,016 inmates, 67% of them who were surveyed said they needed help with their mental health. Unfortunately, poor mental health is exceptionally common in prison, with 45% of adults having anxiety and/or depression.
Statistics such as those mentioned above have seen prison suicides reach record levels, as too have instances of self-harm and violence in recent years. ‘But healing is possible even in these crowded prisons.’
For 26 years now, ‘Fine Cell Work has shared the healing power of needlework through their rehabilitative programmes, bringing substantial mental health benefits to a significant proportion of prisoners’.
Each year, Fine Cell Work surveys their stitchers to gather their experience of the program, and each year they consistently receive the same feedback; ‘That becoming a Fine Cell Work stitcher has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.’
‘This proves that it is possible for people in prison to rebuild their lives, as they work, one stitch at a time.’
For many of us reading this newsletter, we also appreciate the healing power of needlework as we too turn to needle and thread to support our mental health one stitch at a time.
If you’d like to extend your love of needle and thread to support the incredible work of Fine Cell Work, you can find out more HERE, knowing that your donation or purchase of one of the many products those within the program have hand stitched is allowing prisoners and prison-leavers ‘to discover the healing power of paid, purposeful, creative needlework’, and for that Fine Cell Work ‘are incredibly grateful’.