The Peyton Heart Project wants you to crochet for a cause. It’s the perfect crafting opportunity if you’re looking to support Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Sadly, in 2020, suicide claimed over 45,000 people in the United States alone. (Source: NIMH)
So I was thrilled to learn about The Peyton Heart Project, whose mission is to, “raise global awareness about suicide, bullying, and to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness.”
And they’re doing that with small, handmade knit or crochet hearts.
Suicide Prevention and Awareness Support Organizations
But before we get into how to crochet a heart for The Peyton Heart Project, I want to talk about several national organizations dedicated to preventing suicide .
It’s extremely important that everyone is aware of, and has access to, the organizations and resources that will help us discuss suicide prevention in addition to help those in need to seek help.
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization whose mission is to provide, “advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.”
NAMI offers extensive mental education resources on its website, and a national HelpLine (1-800-950-NAMI).
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The mission of the National Institute of Mental Health is to “transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.”
To support that mission, their site provides a whole host of science education resources that promote a better understanding of the brain and mental health.
For Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, NIMH also provides social media images like the one below that you can use to show your support.
How can you make a difference in suicide prevention? Learn about what to do if you think someone might be at risk for self-harm by reading these 5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain: https://go.usa.gov/xyxGc #shareNIMH
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a, “voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.”
While the organization may be headquartered in New York, it has local chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
You can therefore connect with a chapter in your area to get involved with their mission or get help.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project provides, “the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.”
The Trevor Project has trained counselors who are available to call, text, or chat 24/7 for anyone in need of support.
The site also has extensive resources that address a whole host of topics that impact the LGBTQ communities.
Crochet A Heart For Suicide Prevention Awareness
Each of the above organizations welcomes your monetary donations or has fundraisers, like a walk or run, in which you can participate.
But this site is called Create To Donate, after all, so we’ll return to our regularly scheduled crafty programming.
And for The Peyton Heart Project, that means grabbing some yarn and getting to work making hearts. Here is more information about the hearts from their website:
The delicate hearts, each one made by hand and each one representing the delicate heart of a life lost to suicide, have various inspiring quotes attached to them, along with our social media information.
The hearts are placed in public places around the world for people to find during their everyday lives.
We hope the hearts cause people to stop for a moment and reflect on a life lost to suicide, on bullying and on the fact that everyone’s life matters.
We want to leave people with a feeling that there is still good out there in the world and we would like to inspire others to join us on this mission of kindness.-The Peyton Heart Project
As you might expect, The Peyton Heart Project has some specific requirements for their handmade hearts to ensure that each one donated can be used for their purpose.
Detailed instructions for making hearts can be found here.
To get you started, here are their general guidelines for crochet hearts:
- You may use any pattern you’d like to make a heart.
- Hearts should be between 1.5″ – 2″ (4cm – 5cm).
- In order to connect the tags properly, the finished loop must be 4 inches to 5 inches (10cm-12cm), not including the tails.
- A short loop is also important to ensure that a child doesn’t use the heart as a necklace that may become entangled in something and possibly cut off air supply.
- Do not use a chain stitch to create the loop because it makes it too bulky for the tags.
- Make the final loop with two strands, not one.
- Use a knot whose ends come out of the knot parallel to each other, like in a figure-eight knot or an overhand knot (think rabbit ears).
They also have specific requirements for the tags that are attached to the hearts and provide a variety of PDFs for you to access and print at home.
Crochet To Honor Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
The beauty of making these crochet hearts is that it’s a simple way to contribute to a nonprofit in need.
Plus, if you’re practicing mindful crochet, this project is another to add to your options.
And yes, September is both Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month so there are many ways you can craft for a cause this month.