5th July 2021: Music I’ve noticed that pop songs are again being used with Covid. The Rhythm of Life has been used to promote vaccine uptake and Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is a theme tune for thanking key workers.

21st May 2021: Photography Someone I just met today has lent me a digital SLR camera today for six months. Thanks Christophe!

8th March 2021: Theory Over the years I’ve unsuccessfully tried to encourage NHS Foundation Trusts to engage their members around health education issues. Their members can be staff, patients/service users or the local population. I’ve suggested getting these groups to volunteer to put on comedy, music or other shows about health issues aimed at people in their area. I’ve always thought however that these events should generally only be a part of the stand-up or music being put on. Otherwise people might not come along as it might seem too worthy. It’s only just occurred to me that this is how commercial television traditionally works. Put on TV shows that people want to see as a way of getting them to watch advertisements. It was the ads that historically made channels money not the programmes. The adverts however still had to be of a high standard to appeal to people and get them to response to the company whose product was being promoted. It’s the same model! Made me even more convinced that it’s worth trying.

20th January 2021: Posters I’ve been working on a range of mental health posters. They’re both about CHIME. This is a recovery based model. It stands for connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment. The first set illustrated each concept with the title of an appropriate song plus the drawing of the singer associated with it. The second saw them as superpowers and had a drawing to go with this. I’m also thinking about a similar set around 5 Ways to Wellbeing. These might tie-in with soccer.

9th December 2020: Animation I’m still working with PowerPoint and am beginning to get the hang of using Paint 3D. The results look a little like Pixar.

11th November 2020: Animation, comic strips and games I’m continuing my exploration of using PowerPoint to produce moving and statics images. I’ve even found that there are people who use it to make games. It’s actually an amazing piece of software and in effect free to any workplaces who use Office. Contact me if you want to know more.

13th September 2020: Animation Starting a short FutureLearn course tomorrow on filmmaking and animation online and in the classroom. It’s free and online. Go to their website to findout more.

22nd August 2020: Music I’ve been interested in how people have used songs during the Covid-19 outbreak. Music worldwide has come into it’s own during the current crisis: 

  • New songs have been produced as educational tools, including by George Weah, President of Liberia, and Hip Hop Public Health in Harlem
  • Ordinary artists have also responded with message songs e.g. in the UK Psychs’ Spreadin’ 
  • Other artists have produced more comic songs e.g. Coronavirus (feat. Cardi B)
  • The Official Charts company suggested that we got through the first week of lockdown with a combination of gallows humour – surges in popularity for REM’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It and the Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me – and inspirational anthems such as Imagine and You’ll Never Walk Alone (This is a quote from The Guardian)
  • Celebrities have joined together to put  videos of appropriate existing songs on YouTube e.g. Imagine
  • Charity singles have been released e.g. by Captain Tom, Michael Ball and the NHS choir
  • Ordinary people have rewritten the words of famous songs to share their experience of lockdown e.g. a parody from Les Miserables
  • Spotify launched a new wellness service which is a mix of music and podcasts
  • Online choirs have become popular e.g. Gareth Malone’s, (and so has online dancing at home or even in the street)
  • People have also famously sung from their own windows e.g. in Italy 
  • Famous musicians, such as Lady Gaga, have organised concerts, made donations and spoken out
  • Even the organisation I work for has responded e.g. staff have listened together to music online

29th July 2020: Story As a break from the previous book I’ve also been dipping into two easier reads. Both show how to use story as a health education device. I’ve just finished Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. This is a true story written by a therapist about her work and life. She’s uses the format of a novel in part as a way of getting some useful theory across about mental health. I’m now starting Game of Thrones Psychology edited by Travis Langley. This in contrast is a non-fiction book that uses interest in George RR Martin’s stories to make psychology more accessible.

23rd July 2020: Theory I’m currently reading Creative (Climate) Communication by Maxwell Boykoff. It’s not an easy read. Physically it’s quite dense and personally I would have preferred more subheadings to break up the text. However, I still think it promises to be a useful book. It’s well referenced and only came out last year. It seems to be emphasising that emotions, values, beliefs, identity and lived experience are all important in understanding how people receive and decipher communications.

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