Blog

New Red River ReliefLine: Online peer support for students

March 23, 2017 • Written by

Students here at RRC have so much on their plates that life can easily become overwhelming. Sometimes connecting with a peer who really listens can be just what someone needs in order to feel validated, put problems in perspective, and move forward in a healthy way.

We’re happy to announce the launch of Red River ReliefLine – a confidential, anonymous, online, 24/7 peer support service that is available free of charge to students.

Students can link to the service here to connect with a trained peer listener, using their computer, tablet or smart phone.

To become a user, you’ll be asked to share your email address, date of birth and a unique username. Other users and listeners will not be able to see your email address or date of birth.

Listeners From Around the World

Listeners complete online training in active listening and providing compassionate support over chat. Listeners are not counsellor or therapists and do not give advice or conduct therapy. Listeners do, however, provide emotional support and a safe space to sort out what happening in your life.

Red River ReliefLine is a customized version of the service called 7 Cups of Tea that has users and listeners from all over the world. This means that students can access listeners who speak a wide variety of languages. We hope this feature will be particularly helpful for our refugee, immigrant, and international students.

In addition to supportive chat conversations, students can access simple therapeutic exercises through ReliefLine, using the Growth Path feature.

It can feel risky to reach out for the first time, but getting support from a kind listener can be so worth it! We encourage students to use ReliefLine whenever they need it.

If you’d like more information about ReliefLine, have comments about your experience with it, or are interested in becoming a listener, please contact Breanna at blsawatzky@rrc.ca or 204-632-2061.

STRATA Select

March 22, 2017 • Written by

STRATA Select

Have you taken advantage of the STRATA Select Program? Through our affiliation with HUB International STRATA Benefits Consulting, employees have access to voluntary products and services at discounted or preferred rates.

Travel Discounts – Take advantage of exclusive travel tour benefits, hotel discounts and preferred rates on vehicle rentals while you travel.

Direct Sellers Insurance Coverage – A unique program that provides coverage for a variety of risks and liabilities that direct sellers (e.g. Pampered Chef, Avon, Norwex, etc.) are exposed to when they are away from home, picking up or delivering products, at someone else’s home or at trade shows or other business events.

GOeVisit – Get convenient online access to medical professionals for non-emergency conditions, anywhere, anytime.

Group Home and Auto Insurance – Save up to 40% on your home and auto insurance by signing up for a group membership.

Home Phone Program – Reduce your monthly phone bill by accessing this home phone discount program which includes caller ID, voicemail and other calling features.

Home Security Systems – Through AAA, receive discounts on monitoring when you sign up for a home security system.

Hospital Cash – Receive money to assist you with unexpected costs during your hospital stay. Single or family coverage is available.

Individual Health, Dental and Travel Insurance – HUB STRATA’s Individual Insurance Specialist assists with the transition to personal insurance and provides coverage options for family members & relatives who do not have benefits in place.

Individual Life and Living Benefits – Access HUB STRATA’s Individual Life and Living Benefits Consultant to assess your coverage needs and recommend the best fit for you.

Long Distance Savings – Save on your landline or cellular long distance plans.

MyCare – In the event of a serious illness or major orthopaedic condition, MyCare provides affordable and timely access to world-renowned Mayo Clinic expertise.

Pet Health Insurance – Receive 10% off the regular monthly pet health insurance premiums through Petplan®.

Travel Health Insurance – Access to a full range of cost-effective travel insurance options through Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers.

For more information and to start using the discounts and services offered through the STRATA Select program, visit this website: http://select.hubinternational.com/selectredriver/.

 

Supporting Your Wellness

The LifeWorks website offers a wealth of information and resources to help you make the most of all aspects of your life. For the month of March, LifeWorks is featuring a suite of resources called Work and Career Boosters.

Work and Career Boosters features resources to help you improve your productivity and advance professionally.

Be sure to visit www.lifeworks.com to take advantage of the new 2017 content, including videos, podcasts, audio tips and much more.

Remember your EFAP User ID and Password:

User ID: rrcefap                     Password: efap

Guest Blog: Student Mental Health Recovery Story

March 20, 2017 • Written by

Below is a Gust Blog Written by Thania Bazan, RRC Student.

How Breathing Techniques Have Helped Me Deal with Physical and Mental Health

Hi! I am a second year student at Red River College Notre Dame Campus and enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program. I am in my last term and will soon graduate.

In 2009, my life was very different from what it is right now. I had recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a physical condition in the body that brings pain and stiffness to the muscles. I had also been suffering from depression and anxiety for several years that took me to the Emergency room with suicidal thoughts. I received medication with antidepressants but even with the medication it was hard to feel completely happy and willing to go on with life.

In 2013, I was introduced to The Art of Living Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is present in over 150 countries around the world. This foundation offers a course based on powerful breathing techniques to help with anxiety, depression and different physical and emotional illnesses.

I attended a workshop for a weekend and learned how to practice the Sudarshan Kriya Breathing Techniques. After the first session of practicing Sudarshan Kriya, my body, mind and spirit felt more relaxed. I started practicing these techniques every day for a period of a year. After a year of practicing the breathing techniques, I got enrolled in Red River College, for the first time I felt confident I had a tool that would help me deal with stress, anxiety and depression.

I have been practicing Sudarshan Kriya for the last four years and have been able to see and feel the benefits of practicing these techniques in my daily life. When feeling stressed out, exhausted or simply needing to concentrate for a school assignment, I practice Sudarshan Kriya.

 

 

I would like to invite you to explore the option of practicing these breathing techniques for relaxation and awakening of your mind. The Art of Living foundation will be holding an information session at Red River College Notre Dame Campus for people interested in taking this workshop. More information about the information session will be posted on this blog soon!                

Sincerely,

Thania Bazan

If you’d like to write a guest blog please contact Breanna at blsawatzky@rrc.ca

Let’s Talk! College-wide Mental Health Event

March 14, 2017 • Written by

Michael Landsberg, TSN sports journalist and a face of Bell Let’s Talk Day, is bringing his #SickNotWeak talk to Red River College. Come listen to his talk, ask questions and take part in a meet & greet. Help us break down the stigma related to mental health problems.

#SickNotWeak helps people understand that mental illness is a sickness, not a weakness. Michael will speak about his own experience with mental illness and will inspire us to be a more mentally healthy community.

Details

Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Where: North Gym, Notre Dame Campus – Livestreaming will be available at all other campuses

This event is for ALL staff, faculty and students. We understand that some of you may be in class or teaching class at this time, but we hope you consider attending and allowing your students to attend as well.

Lunch and Prizes

Come early for a FREE pizza & pop lunch.

 

 

There will also be prize draws where attendees can win restaurant gift cards, movie passes and even a visit to Thermea! Details regarding how you can win will be announced at the event.

 

Announcements

This event is a part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative. Some exciting new programs and services related to mental health at RRC will be launched at this event. Don’t miss it!

Engage in the conversation on Twitter, using #LandsbergAtRRC on March 22nd.

 

Get Movin Challenge Prize Winners

March 3, 2017 • Written by

The Get Movin Challenge Winners for 2017 were announced in the Cave today. For the entire month of February, staff and students at RRC met the challenge of reaching 7,000 steps per day. Three separate prize categories were made, with entry into each level’s draw based on the amount of days with 7,000 steps reached. As the prize winners were announced, folks also enjoyed a pancake breakfast put on by the RRCSA, with proceeds going to the Food Bank. Thanks to everyoneattending today, and all of those who participated in the Get Movin Challenge, we already look forward to next years Challenge!

Bronze Level Winners (min 10 days)

Rebels Pack Winners: Dennis Korabelnikov; Lynn Gibson; Chad Smith; Samantha Feal; Debra Wutke; Tracy Luedtke; Ray Hoemsen; Laureen Janzen; F. Rick Pizzi; Penny Rawson; Roberta Mack

Yard Game Winner: Lynn Thompson

Lawn Chair (provided by Great-West Life) Winner: Erika Skaftfeld

Beach Umbrella (provided by Great-West Life) Winner: Leslie Ternowetsky

Yoga mat (x2) Winner: Marie Graff and Lauren Waples

Cooler basket (provided by HUB STRATA) Winner: Derek Reykdal

Silver Level Winners (min 15 days)

Athletic Therapy session Winners: – Riann Ritchot and Cynthia Alles-Parasidis

$50 Gift Card to Jane’s Restaurant Winner: Lana Neufeld

1 Free Rec Services Fitness Class Winner: Karen Di Pietro

Saje Wellness Diffuser with Oil (valued at $100) Winner: Hellen Pollard

1 Pair Snow Shoes Winner: James Slade

$100 Golf Dome Gift Certificate Winner: Diane Brown

Photoshoot (valued at $175, provided by Lindsay Rowan) Winner: Patrick Griffith

Gold Level Winners (min 20 days)

$200 Thermea Spa Gift Certificate Winner: Sean Audet

$200 Visa Gift Card Winner: Faye Bychuk

$200 Float Calm Therapy Centre Gift Certificate Winner: Maria Turla

$200 Sport Chek Gift Card Winner: Lindsay Allan

Door Prize Winner

2 Pack of Manitoba Moose Tickets Winner: Michelle Johnson

 

 

 

 

The Body Project: A body image improvement program open to students

March 1, 2017 • Written by

Are you a female or non-binary student who struggles with feeling dissatisfied with your body? If so, you’re not alone. Many students struggle with poor body image and the negative thoughts that accompany those feelings.

There is hope. You can improve how you feel and think about your body. RRC is offering a student-run program called The Body Project that is designed to help students feel better about their bodies.

This two-session program will be held in the Notre Dame Campus Diversity Centre (D208) on March 6 and 13 from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Pizza dinner is provided and spaces are limited, so register soon!

You can register by calling 204-632-2061, emailing blsawatzky@rrc.ca or filling out the online form here: https://blogs.rrc.ca/counselling/resources/body-project/

Week 4 Winners of the Get Movin Challenge: Team C517

March 1, 2017 • Written by

Our 4th and final weekly prize winners of the Get Movin Challenge is Team C517 of the Nursing Department!

Laurie Ann Nichol wrote in

“Well, we are back at it this year…Team C517 has “stepped” up their challenge and raised the limit from last year’s accomplishment of 4 Million to an amazing 5 000 000.   Can’t stop this team from steppin’!!

We have 7 days remaining and our goal is in sight….

Thank you to the Wellness committee for starting the challenge that got us all steppin’ up!

 

Congrats to all Get Movin Challenge weekly winners this year and thanks to our various groups who donated prizes.

 

 

 

Week 3 Get Movin Challenge Winner

February 23, 2017 • Written by

Congrats to week 3 Get Movin Challenge Winner Lovell Li.

Lovell writes

One thing I’ve learned in the past years is the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Every day after work, I take the time to go to the gym and work out. Besides from exercising, I also make sure to maintain a healthy diet. After 2 years of working out and healthy diet, I lost 50 lbs. I’ve never felt stronger, healthier and happier. Here’s a picture of me and my wife, Francheska, working on our 7,000 steps!”

 

 

 

 

Thanks to the RRCSA, Rec Services, and GWL for this weeks prize.

9 Tips From The Anxiety Forums

February 21, 2017 • Written by

Last week RRC hosted two Anxiety Forums. For each event, we invited a prominent local Psychologist to speak about anxiety and then answer audience questions on the topic. The sessions were jammed full of thought provoking and useful information. Below are the 9 learnings that most resonated with me.

  1. Anxiety is adaptive. The physiological reactions related to the feeling of being anxious helped our ancestors survive. When threatened, increased heart rate, greater blood flow to large muscles, and sweating all helped early people escape danger and survive disasters.
  2. The best response to a panic attack is to “sit and breathe.” Often people feel like when they’re having a panic attack, they have to leave the situation they’re in (eg. classroom, bus), but leaving the situation is not necessary. Sit through it, breathe, and it will pass. In addition, picking something visual in your surrounding on which to focus can be helpful.
  3. Facing fears gradually AND regularly is best. Just as you wouldn’t pick up a huge, heavy weight on your first visit to the gym, you shouldn’t face your worst anxiety provoking situation all at once. Start gradually, by exposing yourself to a situation that challenges you in a manageable way. For example, if you have major anxiety around public speaking, you might start raising your hand in class every day until that action no longer feels unbearable. Then you’d move on to regularly practicing another activity that gets you a little closer to your end goal of public speaking. The keys are gradual AND regular. If this process isn’t working, chances are you’re either not doing it gradually enough or not often enough.
  4. Feelings are King. We tend to focus a lot on our feelings, because they’re very obvious to us. This can lead us to ignore the thoughts and behaviours that surround an anxiety provoking situation. Feelings, thoughts, physical reactions, and behaviours are all connected though, with each influencing and being influenced by the other. Starting to recognize the thoughts and behaviours that feed into anxiety can be a good beginning.
  5. Realistic thoughts are better than positive thoughts. Empty positive thoughts, such as, “everything will be okay,” are not grounded in strength, and therefore are not as helpful as realistic thoughts. “I’ll do well on this test if I give myself enough time to study and get a good sleep tonight,” is more likely to be a helpful thought, decreasing anxiety, since the thought is more realistic.
  6. Think through your anxious questions. If you keep saying to yourself, “what if I fail?, what if I fail?,” answer that question with what is likely to happen. Will you have to do better on the next test? Will you have to retake a course? Answer the ruminating question and then find ways to work toward success.
  7. Periods of reflection are important. Take time on a regular basis to reflect on how your mental health is doing. What’s important to you? What would you like to improve? What are some habits you’d like to work on? What are some things that are going well? Make realistic plans to reach your mental health goals.
  8. You will never have 100% control. As much as we’d like 100% control (so that we’d never have to feel anxious again), this is not going to happen. Instead, we have to grasp on to the little piece of control we do have and build on that.
  9. Sometimes we can manage on our own and sometimes we need help. Some of the strategies both Dr. Ediger and Dr. Abdulrehman discussed required being able to create plans, assess our thought patterns, come up with healthier thoughts, and try new ways of coping. Sometimes we can manage this process on our own. Sometimes a friend or family member can help us. Other times a professional like a counsellor or psychologist can be very helpful. If you’ve tried to make a change on your own and have faced road blocks, perhaps meeting with someone would help.

RRC students can set up a counselling appointment here.

RRC staff can set up a counselling appointment here. User ID: rrcefap        Password: efap

Check out the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba for a lot of great information and resources.

These are 9 learnings from the Anxiety Forums that stood out to me. Are there any points you’d add?

Breanna

 

Week 2 Get Movin Challenge

February 16, 2017 • Written by

Week 2 Winner of the Get Movin Challenge is RRC Residence Admissions Coordinator  Melanie Liske!

Melanie writes:

“ Not all of my movin’ is solely steps. Here is a breakdown of a power clean and jerk from one of my Olympic weightlifting training sessions.   This challenge sparked my purchase of a Fit Bit which has allowed me to get a better picture of my activity level each day, while making me very accountable to those days where I move way to little. This new gadget along with this challenge has motivated me to keep enjoying as many of my old active habits as possible, but also to find new ways of living an active lifestyle throughout my day. Both have helped me to ensure those moving very little days don’t really happen anymore. Keep moving everyone! I hope you’re finding fun ways that work for you to keep your body movin’ and groovin’!  ”

Thanks to HUB and Rebels Athletics for providing this weeks prizes.