SOT Talks are conceptualised as the essence of School of Tomorrow (SOT) Events by providing a platform to keep inspirational conversations alive. They serve as a bridge between each of our annual Events – driven by the previous and building up to the next – in order to continue our mission to provide enriching, future-oriented intellectual experiences and learning opportunities. With a focus on emerging issues within contemporary societies, these discussions aim to contribute to a better future.

The thematic focus of the very first SOT Talks is mental health and ways to cope with of mental health issues. Areas to be discussed include managing stress and anxiety, ways to support a healthy mind, and the effect of social media on self-image.

Programme

3:30-4:30 pm Pressure for Perfection:
Self-image and Social Media
Panel
Discussion
30 minutes Break
5:00-6:00 pm Pathways to Happiness:
Coping with Stress & Anxiety
Panel
Discussion

On-site registrations will open at 3:00 pm

Session Descriptions

Pressure for Perfection: Social Media and Self-Image

Anyone who has ever used social media is aware of pressure: of taking the right picture, with the right filter, wearing the right outfit, having the right food, at the right place, with the right people – of looking perfect. And it goes beyond this to having the perfect family that goes on perfect vacations to perfect places.

The time and effort spent on creating this ideal digital identity may well be at the expense of a 'real' self, with the digital curtain hiding a range of mental and emotional struggles. Seeing people having the time of their life -- all the time -- can create feelings of lack and self-doubt. Cyber-bullying, trolling or not getting enough 'likes' make it even harder to accept the less-than-perfect beings we are.

Yet experts largely agree that social media is neither wholly good nor bad for our emotional well-being. Its impact on our mental health depends on a number of factors, including how it is used. In this session, panellists discuss the good, the bad and the healthy of social media use in terms of mental health.

Pathways to Happiness: Coping with Stress and Anxiety

Most people experience stress and anxiety in their day-to-day life. However in a rapidly changing world with increased access to news and information, levels of anxiety and stress are rising exponentially, particularly among young people. While tips and tricks on how to make lifestyle changes abound, it is usually easier said than done. Nor does one size fit all.

Developing a clearer understanding of ways that have helped people is one step towards exploring what may work for us, or for those we know. In doing so, we can learn how to support those who may be struggling, to find better ways to talk about issues, and ultimately to affect positive social change in our communities.

In this session, experts discuss the difference between stress and anxiety, and different approaches to coping, such as therapy, mindfulness and the expressive arts.

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