Most of us can’t imagine what it would be like to survive a suicide attempt.  But this is the reality for Emily Monk, of Forage and Find Me. She not only uses her jewellery making as a therapy, she’s based her whole business on it.

She uses pieces of waste she finds on the beach to create beautiful jewellery. It’s exactly this process which helps to manage her depression.

She now wants to raise awareness of craft as a healing tool, to try to help others in the same position.

Here she tells her story….

“I shall tell you of the time I made a pact to myself, ‘Look after your environment as you should care for yourself’. This single value changed my life and became the building blocks for my business. I simply surrender the 25 year old game of self turmoil.

“To the outside world I had children, a husband and a home. But underneath it all I was in crisis having survived another overdose from Postnatal Depression. I was tangled and suffocating within my own thoughts of depression, anxiety and raising a family. How could I nurture and raise my children if I couldn’t bear to be me? In that moment of collecting ghostnets and mindfully cleaning the beach ‘Forage and Find Me’ was created. 

“Every piece captures my spark and essence of my own mind revolution.”

The energy and pure joy of a new possibility, to live a better life for Mother Earth and myself. I try each day to balance any negative thoughts with the reality of finding a solution. I call it ‘mindset apothecary’. My materials are waiting for me to find them. It’s absolutely thrilling to see what I can come up with and achieve. 

“In the last year I’ve perfected an innovative process with foraged materials from single use HDPE plastic and elements from nature. Discovering eco dye was the finishing technique. A beautiful symbiosis of sustainable foraged materials that would normally go unnoticed. 

“By sharing my journey I hope to raise awareness of mental health and using craft as a healing tool. Finding time for self care. Looking after the beach was easier than facing my demons. 

“I work with basic tools, thinking about the impact I have upon the environment. Using my hands is so empowering and cathartic. I can lose myself in my own wonderment, moulding and carving my ‘fossilised plastic’. Telling myself I am enough, that I can do this without a jewellery background. Perhaps that’s the beauty of my work and I’m learning not to fear life to the point of self-sabotage. 

“Starting a business was unintentional and I’m learning so much about myself. I’m also finding some wonderful people with my craft circle and my beautiful customers. I’m connecting with people and reaching out to people across the world. 

“I have truly found what I was looking for all my life. It was me all along.”

You can find out more about Emily’s story here.