This blog is dedicated to encouraging people to make quilts and laundry bags to send to Aussie service men and women currently serving overseas and to express our gratitude for their service. We care about the people - not the politics or the mission.
Our quilts are not works of art, but works of the heart.
I am often asked what quilters should write in their letters to their recipients. Some people don't feel comfortable writing to strangers... "what should I write?" they ask. When we were in Melbourne a few weeks ago, one of the ladies asked our recipient, Dave, what she should write and he gave a wonderful answer. I thought some of you would benefit from reading what he had to say.
A simple letter can save a life
“We believe the caring letters gave patients a feeling
that they were cared about and added a personal touch”
enjoys getting a personal, handwritten letter. But the personal missive may be
especially beneficial to people at risk of suicide. The research followed a
pilot study of a suicide prevention method in Switzerland. As
part of the method, patients received follow-up letters from therapists they
had seen after being admitted to the hospital for attempting suicide.
A total of 120 patients took part in the study, which
involved seeing a therapist for three sessions to discuss their mental health.
Afterward, half of the patients received mail from their therapist. The
handwritten letters arrived once every three months during the first year after
the patients were released from hospital, and every six months the next year.
While the notes mostly contained standardised advice on warning signs and
staying safe, they also included a few personalized statements from the
technique seems to have had a broad impact on the patients who received those
letters, compared to a control group that just went through
post-hospitalization therapy. Only five patients in the letter-receiving group
attempted suicide over the 24 months of the study, while 41 in the control
group did. One person in each group died from suicide. This method of follow-up appears to reduce suicide
attempt reoccurrence by almost 80 percent.
you’re a soldier, sailor or airmen; deployed far from family and friends. You
feel alone and isolated – just like many who are contemplating or have
attempted suicide. Suddenly in the mail you receive a package from ‘someone who
cares’, someone who cares enough to make you your own quilt, took the time to
write you a letter and then sent it to you all the way from home.
“It’s a lovely sentiment that sends the
message, You’ve not been forgotten by us”
I have been the
recipient of a lifesaving parcel from Aussie Hero Quilts. Whilst I wasn’t
halfway around the world when I received my quilt and letter; I couldn’t have
been in a more lonely or isolated position – I was in a suicidal crisis, I was
in a mental health care facility and I wanted to die. My parcel saved my life.
I was one of the 80%.
about the impact of the parcels have been received by those on operational
duties in the Australian Defence Force. Imagine the amount of warmth, love and
affection that the simple gift of a handwritten letter has been provided by the
countless volunteers who support Aussie Hero Quilts - and that is before we
even consider the physical warmth that your quilts have brought to those
soldiers, sailors and airmen. Please keep up your amazing work because
Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen always have and always will need both
physical and emotional warmth.
“Because sending a letter is the next best thing to
showing up personally at someone’s door”
Thank you so much Dave! Much appreciated. Till next time... keep spreading the word and happy stitching! Jan-Maree xxx