My colleague just handed me a great book about an Oxfam project, funded by ECHO (the European Commission Humanitarian Office), to help women recover from the trauma of Hurricane Stan (October 2005). The project, in Guatemala, taught women in affected communities how to weave, or how to embroider, and brought them together to weave and embroider huipiles, which are the traditional blouses of Guatemalan women.
The book is full of testimonials about how the project helped the women to recover from the loss of family and friends and to regain the confidence to move on with their lives. My favorite quote in the book is, "when we weave, we chitchat and we play. It is like medicine for us."
All of you who do crafts know how true it is that making something is like medicine.