Celebrate your hobby’s contribution to World Mental Health Day 10 October 2019

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Huzzah for the Tiny Men who keep us all healthy! Painted this one way back in the 1980s.

Huzzah! Let us celebrate today – World Mental Health Day – all that our wonderful relaxing craft or hobby of toy soldiers, gaming and modelling do for our relaxation, positive mental health and also the open and supportive community of bloggers, war-games opponents and gaming clubs.

It’s World Mental Health Day today 10th October 2019 https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day-2019/

Veterans’ charities now focus more and more on this aspect of service and post service health. This year I have posted about the well-being value of modelling and the fine people at Models for Heroes: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/models-for-heroes-and-the-well-being-aspects-of-hobbies/

You can find out more about Models for Heroes at:
https://www.modelsforheroes.co.uk/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/models-for-heroes-film-trailer/

Models for Heroes are exhibiting this week at an innovative Wellbeing event at the Tank Museum 11 and 12 October 2019
https://www.modelsforheroes.co.uk/blog/keep-on-track-wellbeing-at-the-tank-museum

and
https://www.tankmuseum.org/whats-on/events/keep-on-track

Last Christmas / Advent I included ‘dancing with the black dog’ in my advent calendar of blog posts: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-5-dancing-with-the-black-dog/

I am fortunate to have been blessed with good mental health so far in life, having been born with quite a ‘happy-go-lucky’ kind of temperament (and a mild Airfix addiction that is easily pleased …)

This is not the case for everybody as life changes. Fortunately mental health is now more widely and openly discussed and social prescribing now takes into account the benefits of hobbies and clubs:
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

You might be fortunate enough to have a Wargames, gaming or modelling club nea4 you, full of ‘like minds’ or even a Men’s Shed nearby: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/uk-mens-sheds-association/

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Huzzah! A salute from the Man of TIN 

Huzzah! Thank you today for all the kind, challenging and interested comments that readers and blogging buddies leave on the Man of TIN blog, Pound Store Plastic Warriors, Sidetracked and Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blogs. They really are appreciated.

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Huzzah from the Boy Scouts!

Huzzah! Thank you also to many of my readers for the interesting, inspiring and downright distracting blogs that many of you write as well.

Three cheers for the tiny tin men that keep us all busy and mentally healthy.

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Huzzah! Esci Colonial British Infantry given the Click2Comic treatment …

Have a happy and healthy day.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 10 October 2019

Models for Heroes and the well-being aspects of Hobbies

I have been busy casting a few more scout figures for my Wide Games project this weekend. Nothing like molten hot lead for focusing the attention on what you are doing.

After watching the short videos for Models For Heroes, I thought again whilst hot metal casting about some of the things  the veterans said regarding the therapeutic benefits of modelling:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/models-for-heroes-film-trailer/

What is said of modelling here is applicable probably to many hobbies. I’m sure many of the veterans would find home casting as therapeutic.

Text below is taken / transcribed by me from this BFBS YouTube video https://youtu.be/3gsyyJ5AOhc

Malcolm Child, Models for Heroes: “It brings you away from the problems of the day. It brings you away from thinking about problems in the past and perhaps stresses the future, so yeah it keeps you in the now.”

Karl, Model Maker: “As a long term sufferer of PTSD I spend a lot of my time looking in my peripheral vision for threats … Coming here into a safe environment,  the concentration on the model takes away the need to look for those threats and I can concentrate on the model and actually the byproduct of that, it gives my brain a time to rest, so it’s not absorbing all its energy on threats and what’s going on around me.”

Barrie, one of the other interviewees who was struggling with his concentration after a major operation, talked about the benefits of modelling:  “the sitting peaceful, the quietness and the ability to work at your own pace and do things in your own time and actually to get something from the end result …”

Ceri Lawrence Occupational Therapy Assistant: “It gives people a meaningful occupation … [for] people who’ve lost the ability to do the things they used to enjoy … giving people a new chance, a new hobby and it’s an occupation they can do here as a group or elsewhere as a group or solo.”

These are all interesting points which I think are true of my own hobby enjoyment of making and painting figures for tabletop gaming. I have no mental health issues (so far) nor the black dog or PTSD but I have friends and acquaintances who have and I can see how modelling or other hobbies would help.

This concentration aspect sounds much like the well-being and mindfulness focus etc from the “colouring book” craze a year or two back.

In some ways, it’s nothing new, as in the past and today, gardening for example has been used as therapy – horticultural therapy  – such as the UK charity Gardening Leave (2007-2015) https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/armed-forces-charity-gardening-leave-close-13-jobs-lost/management/article/1375807. Walled gardens worked well for many veterans as  the  garden walls provided  a place of safety for veterans – many of whom suffered from hyper-vigilance and found open spaces difficult.

This form of “Social prescribing” for depression, isolation and anxiety such as joining a walking or sports group is now increasingly practised in the NHS.

Toy making using carpentry seem to have fulfilled this role during and after WW1 such as the Lord Roberts workshops and also this discharged veteran here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/toys-from-the-scrapheap/

I probably still have (somewhere) in my varied collection at home a WW2 era needlework pattern used with convalescent Troops in  WW2. Similarly an altar piece for St Paul’s made in WW1 by recovering veterans has recently been restored and displayed as part of the 1914-18  Centenary.

https://www.stpauls.co.uk/history-collections/history/ww1

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/01/first-world-war-altar-frontal-st-pauls-cathedral

Whatever your hobby or hobby blog,  I hope it brings you peace, relaxation,  focus and satisfaction at whatever time scheme you set out. No rush …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2nd of June 2019.

See also my previous post https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/uk-mens-sheds-association/

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 5 – Dancing with The Black Dog?

Advent Calendar Day 5 – Banishing the Black Dog?

Christmas and New Year can be a stressful, rough old time for many people, with or without their loved ones around.

I am impressed by the way that some men can talk about their mental health and how they are feeling throughout the year through the medium of their hobby blogging. It opens up a difficult subject for others in the blogging and gaming community.

Bob Cordery’s blog on Wargaming Miscellany is one example of someone who has been open about those dips in motivation and low moods like a black dog hanging around you sort of days (the Black Dog was what Churchill famously called his low moods).

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-black-dog-has-paid-me-visit-but-now.html

The responses from fellow sufferers,  blog buddies and readers all over the world to Black Dog posts that I have read have always seemed very supportive whenever a hobby blogger mentions that  the black dog is sniffing around or that they have lost their gaming mojo because difficult things in life get in the way.

I thankfully do not have a black dog yet in life but I found it interesting reading through Mark Pacitti’s memoir and website about dealing with the black dog .

https://www.dancingwiththeblackdog.com/about-dancing-with-the-black-dog/

IMG_0179Dancing With The Black Dog is a registered charity (ABN 71157667411) dedicated to the worldwide eradication of the stigma of anxiety and depression. We are based in Melbourne, Australia and have helped provide hope to sufferers of anxiety and depression all over the world.

Founded in 2011 by Mark Pacitti, an ex-pat Scot of Italian descent, Dancing With The Black Dog started off as a fledgling blog where Mark openly shared his experiences of how he suffered from and ultimately beat anxiety and depression.

Mark’s free e-book or memoir is available online https://www.dancingwiththeblackdog.com/introducing-the-black-dog/

Wishing you all a Black Dog free Christmas and New Year!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Advent Day 5, Wednesday 5th December 2018.