Helping veterans live a happy and healthy life is a passion for actress Kerry Cahill. From becoming a spokesperson for AMVETS and hosting the ‘Veteran Oscars’ to designing a bracelet as part of an art therapy program for Help Heal Veterans (HHV), Cahill admits she wants to follow in the footsteps of her father in helping our nation’s heroes.
Cahill is heading to Arizona this week to host part of the show called “The Pitch” at the Creativation Show. Cahill is working in collaboration with HHV in spreading to word on how art therapy helps veterans suffering from depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“I will be speaking about the power of a simple act, like a stitch or a phone call, and how it can build bridges and help heal. Something a lot of people don’t talk about is that a lot of depression comes with PTSD and it can happen with the transition home for any soldier. The power of these crafts is that it’s an activity that you can do in your home, at the office, with friends, or at the local VFW, AMVETS post, or bar. There’s a reason we’ve had knitting, sewing, leatherwork, and ironwork in existence for as long as we have” Says Cahill. “It’s a natural and meditative process and it means something. There’s a quantitative result at the end and when the whole world feels like it’s caving in, the simple act of sewing leather or sanding a wooden piece of the model you’re building for your kids can be restorative in ways that are indescribable.”
Heal Vets provides arts and crafts therapy kits to help the rehabilitation of veterans. From those recuperating from injuries such as PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Heal Vets arts and crafts also provide treatment for veterans suffering from memory loss, stroke or extremity weakness. Help Vets have distributed more than 31 million kits since 1971 from hundreds of craft categories.
Cahill’s father a veteran was shot six times during the Fort Hood, Texas shooting in 2009. He was an advocate for mental health services for veterans in the military. The actress is known for her roles in “Terminator” and “The Walking Dead” says, “We lose too many veterans through suicide and the effects of Post Traumatic SD. I want to be a part of a solution that prevents this.”
Cahill hit the big screen recently in “Thank you for Your Service” a powerful movie that looks at how PTSD affects American servicemen and women returning home from war.Cahill partnered with Heal Vets last year to create a wristband in memory of her father similar to the one he wore every day.
Cahill adds. “My dad was a hero he died saving the lives of others, and that is how I want his legacy to continue, helping others,” says Kerry Cahill. “Battling depression and PTSD is something nobody can do by themselves. It’s like I always say. They fought for us; now we fight for them. I designed a bracelet for Heal Vets last year. It was inspired by a bracelet my dad wore early in his life and it almost an exact replica. It was a bracelet he wore with his Vietnam buddies. They are all gone now, too soon, and it’s something that helps them live on, stitch by stitch.”
“We were thrilled to see Michael Cahill’s wristband designed by Kerry and we are thrilled to work with her again promoting the positive effects crafts can have on veterans.” Says Heal Vets CEO Joe McClain.
Creativation show aims to connect crafters nationwide, showcasing the latest trends, suppliers, designers, and entrepreneurs worldwide.