Moon before Yule

Yule Moon.

In different latitudes and seasons the monthly moon is given varying names, here in UK Christians long ago called this months seasonal luminary, the Moon before Yule, others called it the Long Night Moon or Cold Moon, however my viewing of it on Monday this week, was as it as a warm yellow globe, casting it’s glow across  the late afternoon’s sunlit skies of Bramley. My little bloggie camera did it’s best to capture the show, as dusk clouds threatened  to conceal it, ….chance to sit and watch natural Christmas lights…a pause from what often seems a very stressful time of year.

Whichever Winter Festival you observe, my favourite is Solstice on the 21st/22nd December, or whatever custom you partake of at least the closing of the shops for…one or two days! it may give an opportunity to reflect on that perennial question, what might I do differently or anew next year?

Winter Solstice fire

Blessed be, Peace!


copied from

Light out of Darkness

Alternative decorations at ArtlinkOn 11th December the Arts and Minds Network celebrated the idea that creativity can be a light in the darkness.  It was a winter (not Christmas) celebration with a twist.  Yes, there were mince pies, but we also had the chance to turn our hand to creative writing, with the expert guidance of Linda Lewis. Continue reading

Using Digital in Mental Health Services and to manage our own Mental Health – A conversation!

Here’s a question: Can the use of digital technology including:  social media, digital applications and digital interaction help to keep us well and be used to improve mental health services?  Plenty of people think the answer is yes.

Digital technology is our latest tool – could it be that we officially in the digital era?  We now use it in so many ways;  to communicate, to discuss our problems,  to be creative,  to be political,  to advertise, to run businesses, to track progress, to share files – and the list goes on. Many of use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype in our daily lives.

So how do we use it to do good? How do we harness its power and potentiality to aid us in improving Mental Health Services?  To help us as individuals to keep well?

In November I was invited to a day of conversations on this very topic. The day was organised by Victoria Betton who writes about it in her blog – Co-Producing Digital Mental Health.

Here’s a snippet of the conversations: 

Using digital technology as a safety net to fill in the gaps –  I chose this conversation title as I felt that there were gaps in services.  It drew interest from people including a woman from Age UK. She talked about the problem of Isolation for older people,  she was involved in a project which helped older people to connect to each other by using digital tablets.  A Student Welfare Officer talked about how disrupting the summer holiday gap is for students who attend support groups/therapy in term time.  Could digital technology provide a solution during this gap?

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(Art work created on the day by Tom @artsmindsleeds)

Could it be used to disrupt mental health services in order to provide a better experience for users of the services?  Could it also be used to provide preventative support to people? We also talked about the therapeutic value of creativity, is it a human need which we often neglect in our society?  Could digital help us to express ourselves through a different medium than language? Could it help us flourish?

Do you have any ideas?  Do you use any applications which you use to maintain your mental health or physical health?  Do you find using digital technology empowering?  Has it helped you in any way? What are your thoughts? Negative or Positive?  We’d love to hear them.

Thanks Vicky 🙂

There were many more conversations throughout the day.  If you are on Twitter and would like to know more about the day see  #DigitalMH13

If you are a designer or a  developer and have a passion for improving mental health services and would like to get involved please see #digihealthlab

Thanks Vicky 🙂

A letter from ‘Love Your Liver’

We get lots of interesting e-mail at Leeds Wellbeing Web, and this one seemed worth passing on, particularly with the season being what it is. I followed their links and did the ‘liver health checker test’ – it seems my diet may contain too many foods/drinks that are high in fat and/or sugar, and I was advised to find an activity like dancing, brisk walking or swimming. Apparently typing doesn’t count. Anyway, they are looking for people to get involved, and will be coming to Morrison’s in Hunslet on the 16th January. here’s the full text of the letter: