mental health

Lion Brand Launches Partnership with Mental Health America

Carlstadt-based Lion Brand Yarn Company, a leading U.S. distributor of knitting and craft yarn, announced an official partnership with Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the mental health of all. Announced on “Lion Brand Day,” the yarn company’s premier day to celebrate crafters, the partnership is an integral part of Lion Brand’s emboldened 2021 focus on the mental health benefits of knitting and crocheting–activities that have spiked in popularity as people seek out ways to cope with these troubling times.

Mental Health America confirms there is a wide variety of mental health benefits associated with knitting and crocheting, including “lowered blood pressure, reduced depression and anxiety, distraction from chronic pain, increased sense of wellbeing, and reduced loneliness and isolation.”

“We’re both honored and thrilled to be partnering with Lion Brand Yarn Company, and to be such a prominent component of their pledge to raise awareness about mental health, specifically in the crafting space,” said Paul Gionfriddo, Mental Health America’s president and CEO. “Their commitment to spreading this message and generating donations for our organization is testament to their goal of improving mental health for as many people as possible.”

For the long-term partnership, Lion Brand is aiming to raise funds for Mental Health America and its wide-ranging services, and the “Lion Brand Day” announcement informs the yarn company’s vast community about the charitable collaboration. In addition, with lime green as the international color for mental health awareness, Lion Brand will promote the sale of a special kit to encourage its crafters and consumers to create lime green scarves. Proceeds from the kit will go directly to Mental Health America.

In May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, Lion Brand will mount multiple initiatives to benefit Mental Health America, including:

  • An all-day stitch-a-thon that will take place across Lion Brand’s social media channels and throughout its extensive community of crafters, who will be encouraged to donate to Mental Health America.
  • Email engagements with customers and key retailers promoting the fundraiser.
  • A “virtual run” with all proceeds benefiting MHA.
  • A large-scale, knit and crochet Zoom event, when MHA representatives will join participants from far and wide for a special one-hour episode of Lion Brand’s daily Facebook Live series, “The Shi Show,” which is hosted by Lion Brand ambassador Shira Blumenthal, and is broadcast to nearly 600,000 followers.
  • Promote the sale of the lime green scarf kit.

“We’re so excited to kick off this incredible partnership with Mental Health America,” said Shira Blumenthal, who is also the founder of the Lion Brand-backed anti-bullying campaign #HatNotHate. “The work of Mental Health America aligns with everything we stand for, from Lion Brand’s mission to trumpet the mental health benefits of crafting to #HatNotHate’s mission to address the short- and long-term mental health effects of bullying. We’re more than confident that our crafters will be thrilled to donate to this worthy cause.”

“We believe there is an incredible opportunity in 2021 to bring Mental Health America’s important message to a larger audience,” said Chris Mills, CEO of Lion Brand Yarn Company. “By combining our shared values, our collective supporters, followers and customers, we believe we can make a positive impact in spreading a hopeful and empowering mental health message this year and for years to come.”

Furthermore, Mental Health America will be continually interwoven with #HatNotHate’s recently launched 2021 campaign, which pledges to collect 100,000 hats from makers and donors to be distributed to schools in October during National Bullying Prevention Month. New appearances from Mental Health America representatives will be scheduled for “The Shi Show,” and through it all, Lion Brand and #HatNotHate will be promoting donations to Mental Health America.

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