Students and guests at Newcastle College University Centre heard from a packed programme of inspirational speakers at its first TEDx event, exploring the topic of mental health and wellbeing.
The student-led event, held in the College’s Performance Academy on Friday 26 April, explored the resilience of the human mind and looked at neurodiversity, the dangers of apathy and generational divides in perspective.
Ten guest speakers addressed the sold-out audience on various subjects from sleep disorders to grief and climate change to domestic violence.
Radio presenter Emily Dean (along with her dog Raymond), spoke about her own grief following the death of all of her immediate family members, while Dr Kirstie Anderson, a leading sleep neurologist from Newcastle’s Sleep Clinic relayed stories from those suffering with sleep disorders, and how these were either a sign of, or led to, mental health issues.
The full bill of speakers also featured academics, an actress, a wrestler and a climate-change comedian.
James O’Hara, currently studying for a degree in Child and Young Person Development, led a team of undergraduates to organise the event. He said: “The event focused on mental health and wellbeing, because it really is such a prevalent topic at the moment.
“We feel that the taboo of talking about these issues is slowly breaking away and this event was aimed at being a celebration of human resilience.
“This is the first TEDx event that we’ve organised and it went brilliantly. I can’t thank the speakers enough for their insightful and inspiring contributions.”
Higher Education Research and Projects Co-ordinator, Laura Gower, who has been overseeing the team of students during their project said: “It was fantastic to see the hard work of our students come together for the first TEDxNewcastleCollege event.
“The University Centre already hosts a public lecture series, but the TEDx event was entirely student led, from deciding the theme to organising the speakers.
“All of the speakers shared some deeply personal stories and it was an educational and emotional evening, which I think resonated with every member of the audience and I look forward to doing it all again next year.”
TED talks are famous around the world for sharing ideas from leading speakers in talks which are viewed online by millions across the globe. Launched in 2009, TEDx is program of locally organised events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience. Some of the best talks from TEDx events have gone on to be featured on TED.com and garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe.
Speakers at the event (and pictured L-R) were:
• Holly Matthews: Tough Luck - Accepting Life’s Unfairness Will Set You Free
• Dr Rosemary Hill: The Gendered Experience of Music
• Syd Barnes: The Death and Life of Syd
• Dr Kirstie Anderson: Stories from the Sleep Clinic – Better Nights for Better Days
• Dr Matt Winning: Climate Strange
• Dr Dominique Thompson: Understanding the ‘Why’. What Young People Wish Their Parents and Carers Knew.
• Catrina McHugh (Open Clasp Theatre Company): Resilient People Don’t Walk Between Raindrops
• Dr Oliver Jones: Human Experience – Evolution, Emotion and Environment Design
• Connor Gregory (Scotty Rawk): Wrestling with my Mental Health
• Emily Dean (and dog Raymond): Everyone Died and So I Got a Dog