On the 5th of December Newcastle University collaborated with eight other Universities across six countries for raising awareness about good health and well-being.
This year the ‘pop-up wellbeing’ event was organized by the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai along with universities in India, Europe, the United States of America and the UK. Newcastle University played an important role in bringing attention to various issues faced by the people in the North East. The main topics that were dealt with included, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating habits amongst students, stress relieving activities, the importance of mental health, and awareness about drugs in use. The new team of journalism students worked together to create interesting and relevant pieces of information using various multimedia elements and the hashtag #pop-upwellbeing trended on Twitter. Articles were sent in from all over the world and it was insightful to note that ‘well-being’ had different meanings and connotations to different people.
The pop up dealt with bigger issues giving equal importance to matters that are often overlooked, such as skipping breakfast or daily exercise for other so-called ‘important’ commitments. A month of skipping breakfast can cause harm to the body which in the long run can be problematic. People hilariously opened up about their ‘stress busters’ on a vox- pop, one noted that they liked to ‘shop till you drop’ and another to simply ‘eat a lot’ and some believed in healthy ways like reading a book or playing some sport. One man said “I never get stressed” and noted that “it’s no good wasting your time being stressed, it does you no good, and it does nobody else any good.”
Apart from all the pre-recorded materials, universities took turns and students interacted with the audience live. Vox-pops, op-eds, guest interviews with experts on mental, and community health and other interesting activities were lined up before students were handed over to a live communication with the USA. “The live-stream session with all the outside broadcasts was a stupendous achievement”, Professor David Baines quipped. The team consisted of about fifteen students and three professors who were actively involved in collecting stories around Newcastle and coordinating with other teams. The preparation started in November for this event and in all, was a great team effort.