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An Impactful Mental Illness Awareness Week at RRC

October 8, 2017 • Written by

Last week, RRC observed Mental Illness Awareness Week by learning about the realities individuals face when they experience mental illness. Since we know that many staff, students, and faculty members will experience mental health problems and illness, understanding the illness and recovery process is an important part of working toward a more supportive and inclusive campus community.

Learning About Recovery Through Art and Community

Local non-profit, Artbeat Studio, visited both NDC and EDC to spread the word about their community based, peer directed program that supports artists with lived mental illness experiences to heal through art and community. You can catch the City News coverage here: City News and Artbeat at RRC

The artists who visited our campuses are: Bradley Guiboche; Nicholas Ahrens-Townshend; and Kathleen Crosby.

Learning About Anxiety Disorders

Further, we were pleased to host talks by Sarah Petty and Kendall McLean from the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (ADAM); a non-profit, peer-led self help organization  where all staff have personally experienced and overcome the disabling effects of anxiety, and are now sharing that knowledge and hope with others.

If you missed the talks, we’re thankful that eTV Studio recorded Sarah’s presentation and has posted the link to view it here.

Learning about Schizophrenia

Courtesy of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society

On Thursday, October 5th we hosted the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society; a non-profit, charitable, community-based mental health organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for those affected with schizophrenia and psychosis. Speaker Jane Burpee helped us better understand this disorder, which effects one per cent of the population. You can find the video recording of her talk here.

Learn More

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health is the driving force behind Mental Illness Awareness Week annually. One of MIAW’s major initiatives is the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery from mental illness. Five Canadians have shared their stories so that you and I can better understand illnesses like Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, ADHD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. You can read bios and watch video clips put together by this national campaign.

If, as you learn more about these disorders, you feel you might be experiencing one yourself, please reach out for help. Your family doctor is often a good place to start. RRC staff can also access our Employee and Family Assistance Plan. RRC students can complete an intake form in order to access confidential Counselling services. People who experience mental illness can get help, get better, and live a good life.

Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator

Mental Illness Awareness Week

September 20, 2017 • Written by

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. Many people who work and learn at RRC have experienced or will experience mental illness in their lifetime.Show your support for an inclusive campus community by attending one or more of or MIAW events.

Art Show by Artbeat Studio

Artbeat Studio is a mental health consumer initiated, peer-directed, recovery oriented program providing studio space, mentorship and more to artists living with mental illness. Come view artwork and chat with an artist about the power of art and community to promote healing.

NDC: Tuesday, Oct 3rd noon-2:00 pm, Library Hallway

EDC: Thursday, Oct 5th noon- 2:00 pm, Atrium

Coping with Anxiety as a Student: A Lived Experience

The Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba is a peer-led organization whose staff have personally experienced and overcome the disabling effects of anxiety. Attend this talk where the presenter will share knowledge about Anxiety Disorders as well as strategies to cope in an academic and workplace setting.

NDC: Wednesday, Oct 4th, noon-1:00 pm, Orange lecture theatre, livestreaming available

EDC: Wednesday, Oct 4th, noon-1:00 pm, P107

All About Schizophrenia

One percent of the population live with Schizophrenia so chances are you’ll work with, learn with, or teach someone who has this diagnosis. Attend this talk, by the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, to increase your knowledge about Schizophrenia and Psychosis, while having your questions answered by the experts.

NDC: Thursday, October 5th, 11:00-noon, White lecture theatre, livestreaming available

Faces of Mental Illness Campaign

The Faces of Mental Illness is a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery from mental illness. Posters featuring the Faces will be all over campus in an effort to raise awareness and end the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you’d like a poster to put up in your area, please contact blsawatzky@rrc.ca.

Multitasking, Memory, and Meeting Deadlines

September 19, 2017 • Written by

Do you often have your phone on your desk while you work or study? Do you have multiple browser tabs open at once, checking social media while working on an assignment?  Do you quickly check your email during a lecture or presentation? If you answered yes, you’re not alone; these are common habits for most people, including students.

If you’re trying to make the most of your time and meet deadlines efficiently, however, this kind of multitasking may be sabotaging your efforts. “Switching cost” is the term Psychologists use to describe the price of changing from one task to another.  Researchers have found that switching attention like this leads us to take longer to complete a task, remember less, and make more errors. For busy students who are trying to balance demanding programs, home responsibilities, and self-care there’s certainly no time to waste!

In fact, the switching cost, or time and quality loss, is higher when the tasks were doing are more complicated. For example, searching for your keys and walking to your car are not very demanding tasks, so you may not experience much of a cost for multitasking. But, completing difficult math problems and engaging in a text conversation are complicated tasks where you’d likely take longer and make more errors if you were to multitask.

So, what can we do? Try devoting a set amount of time to one task and rewarding yourself with a break to take a walk, stretch, check email, or respond to a text. When you’re not on a break, turn off all notification sounds or vibrations and close other browser tabs. It will likely feel mentally difficult to resist the urge to switch tasks, but remember that feeling of difficulty is actually your brain getting better at focusing.

A helpful free App to check out is Focus Keeper: Work & Study Timer (available for iPhone). It uses a timer to help you manage your focused times and break times. Read a review here. If you know of an App that helps you avoid multitasking and increase your productivity, place your recommendation in the comments.

Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator

The Rebel in You – A 12 Week Wellness Program

September 5, 2017 • Written by

Sometimes starting an exercise program can be more challenging than the working out itself. Having to figure out how to get started, learning new terminology to what’s the difference between a rep and a set as well as knowing what to exactly do while in the gym. That is why we designed a custom program specific for The Rebel in You.

This program is a complete guide to getting moving and started on a journey of healthy living. Inside you’ll learn different terms and a glossary of definitions. The program booklet has advice as to why being active is the right thing for you to do and it gives tips to help keep you on track, even when we find ourselves with a setback, we can still learn from it and use the tips to get back on. You will be shown how to find your target heart rate to make sure that when you are training aerobically you are being efficient and reaching the level needed to reach your goals. It also helps you with how to make and set goals!

Included in the program booklet is a couple of full workout programs, which you can do at your own pace and you can keep track of it with the weekly calendar data chart to measure progress. Each program can be done for the entirety of the 12 weeks, or you can switch to another one if you feel you’d like to be challenged a bit more from the previous program. One of the programs is designed without any equipment which means it can help you become more familiar with movement and your body but also it means you can also do it at home. At the end of a workout or on a day you feel you need a stretch you can use the stretching guidelines to help balance out the work you’ve been putting in from the exercising.

Regardless of your level of fitness or experience, this program is designed to help you get a little bit more from your wellness plans and to help guide you in a total wellness program. The Rebel in You wellness booklet can be found on our website and it is free to download. Feel free to ask coworkers to join in, or family members to help provide support and a bit of social gathering time while you do something good for you. To be well is less about how you “should” go to the gym, or about the time you denied yourself dessert but more of an understanding that you matter and are important. That the higher value you place on yourself to take one more step or do one more rep pays out not only in your future self but also in your present self. We all are living a life where life happens, so we do not need to wait for life to happen in the “right way” for us to be well but we can practice being well in ourselves with each moment so that we create a life of wellness and well-being.

 

 

Registration Now Open for Fall Term Fitness Classes!

August 31, 2017 • Written by

Red River College Athletics and Recreation Services offers Group Fitness Programs suited to all interests and fitness levels. Our highly trained and enthusiastic instructors will lead you through a fun and challenging workout suited to you.

Registered Programs for 2017 Fall Term

Metabolic Resistance Training with Lesley on Mondays from 12:05-12:50pm

Yoga with Amanda on Mondays from 4:15-5:15pm at NDC

Bootcamp with Ashton on Tuesdays from 12:05-12:50pm

Block Therapy with Joanne on Tuesdays from 4:15pm to 5:00pm

Zumba with LIndsay on Tuesdays from 4:15pm to 5:00pm

Circuit Training with Cameron on Wednesdays from 12:05-12:50pm

Tantric Hatha Yoga with Keith on Wednesdays from 4:15pm-5:15pm

NEW*** Morning Boot Camp Thursdays from 7:00am to 7:45am. FREE for RRC Staff and Students!

Dynamic Core with Lesley on Thursdays from 12:05-12:50pm

Dynamic Spin with Lesley on Thursdays from 4:15pm-5:00pm

Gentle Hatha Fusion Yoga with Linda Thursdays from 4:15-5:15 at EDC

Fitness Classes  Free for Students!!!

All Fitness Classes are free to use for RRC Students. Students can fill out Fitness Class registration form, minus payment, and drop it off at GM20 in the North Gym or email to Recreation Coordinator Cole Skinner @ coskinner@rrc.ca. Students are also welcome to drop in the fitness classes as well, provided space is available. (For EDC Yoga, students can also submit their registration form to the instructor before the start of class.)

Info

Classes will start September 11th and run until December 21st

Drop in cards for 5 or 10 classes per term can also be purchased.

Register

To register for a class download the registration form, complete it and if your staff, alumni or community user fill it out and take it to the Student Service Centre to make a payment.  If you are a student, drop off at front desk in the North Gym. (For EDC Yoga, students can also submit their registration form to the instructor before the start of class.)

Registration Form: 2017 Fall Fitness Classes Registration Form

****EDC/Downtown Students and Staff.

Sport Manitoba is offering fitness classes this year that are open to RRC Students and Staff. With the Sport For Life Centre only a few blocks away in the Exchange, this is an excellent option for those working/studying downtown and looking to participate in fitness classes. View the below link for class listings.

http://www.sportmanitoba.ca/canada-games-centre/fitness-programs-0

Observe World Suicide Prevention Day with RRC

August 28, 2017 • Written by

Each year, roughly 4000 Canadians die by suicide. Not only are these losses tragic, but each individual who dies by suicide was no doubt connected to a community of people who will experience complex grief. There are family members, colleagues, and friends who are left to sort through intense feelings, sometimes of helplessness, guilt, or pain.

The Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network (WSPN) recognizes that communities like RRC have an important role to play in both preventing suicide and supporting individual and collective healing; we agree. Laureen Janzen, Manager of Counselling and Accessibility Services, is a WSPN member and has been helping to plan World Suicide Prevention Day 2017. There will be a free public event over the noon hour on September 8th.

As part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative at RRC, we would like to invite staff, students, and faculty to join us in observing this important day. This year’s theme is “Building Communities of Hope and Resilience.” Please contact Breanna Sawatzky at blsawatzky@rrc.ca if you are interested in attending with the RRC group. As you will see below, the event is about an hour in length and is open to all in the community.

Support for Alcoholism Recovery Coming to Campus

August 22, 2017 • Written by

This Autumn, there will be an additional support on campus to help individuals attain recovery and wellness: an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group.

According to AA, Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

For more information about AA, and answers to frequently asked questions, visit http://www.aamanitoba.org/

At this point, we are asking any individuals who would like to either help start the group, or attend the group contact Steve (with AA) or Breanna (RRC’s Mental Health Coordinator) so that we can decide on a day and time to hold the meeting.

Contacts

Steve: area80picpc@gmail.com

Breanna: blsawatzky@rrc.ca

 

Struggle and Strength

May 17, 2017 • Written by

My 4-year old’s “Spidey Sense” always seems to kick when I am in the grip of stress, even when I try to hide it from him. I know he can tell if I’m frustrated, or anxious, or worried, or panicked, even if I do my best to seem cool and “together”. Sometimes he takes advantage of the moment and fuels the fire by acting out, and other times he offers an awesome leg hug. Either way, he notices.

Knowing that my kids see me not just at my best but also my worst is normal, but it can be hard. I think that for many of us, it’s an emotional battle to allow young people to see us truly struggling, whether in anger, sadness, disappointment, or stress – without feeling shame.

Have you ever read the work of Brene Brown? If you haven’t come across her yet, you are in for a bit of a life-changer.

Brene is a “researcher-storyteller” who has opened up the conversation about vulnerability, shame and human connection. Among many other things, Brene has written a beautiful Manifesto on Wholehearted Parenting that can be printed as a poster (for free!)


What I really, really love is her call to parents – and indeed to anyone who cares for young people –to model struggle and strength so that kids and youth can witness how we navigate those challenging, and sometimes ugly, emotions.

The Manifesto also talks about making a commitment to model self-compassion and embrace imperfections in front of children.

When my daughter sees me forgive myself (sometimes by me actually saying, “Darn it. I forgot to call my dentist back. That’s okay – I forgive myself!) – it registers in her mind that this is something she can try too.

As we work through giving ourselves grace to be wholehearted with our kids, I know many parents also struggle with age-appropriate language, especially when confronting more serious struggles such as depression or anxiety. I recently came across a news article that provides some advice about this and I encourage you to give it a read and let me know what you think.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3425035/parents-this-is-how-to-tell-your-children-youre-dealing-with-depression-anxiety/

I’ll leave you with the invitation to check out the Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.

And, to check out more of Brene Brown’s amazing work, go here: http://brenebrown.com/

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this topic!

Mother’s day

May 17, 2017 • Written by

With Mother’s day just around the corner, I wanted to show my mom how grateful I am for having her in my life. She’s always there for me and she gives selflessly without expecting anything in return. There are many articles out there to consult for “Mother’s day gift ideas she’ll love” or “top 10 ways to treat your mom like a goddess”. These weren’t what I was looking for this Mother’s day. Even though any of those ideas would have been good enough, I was still looking for more. I felt like I needed to do something I don’t normally do. I was running out of time. It’s only when I came to that realization that I found it.

With my job being highly demanding lately and with my studies taking most of my free time, I have been spending very little time with my mom. This Mother’s day, I’m going to give my mom my undivided attention and my time. I’m going to show her how much I cherish her every second of the day. I’m going to pamper her. As I get to enjoy her company, this will be good for my emotional wellness! Please share with us how you plan to treat or how you treated your mom this Mother’s day.

Happy Mother’s day to all moms, you make the world a better place!

RRC piloting online mindfulness training for faculty and staff: Enter draw for a spot!

May 9, 2017 • Written by

Red River College is piloting the evidence based 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge with 30 faculty and staff who will be selected by lottery. The training starts on Monday, May 29 and everyone who registers gets to take the Challenge for free with a buddy of their choice.

We’re pleased to pilot mindfulness training at the College as it dovetails nicely with our Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative’s goal of providing mental health supports in innovative ways. Faculty and staff who would like to be included in the lottery should email blsawatzky@rrc.ca by May 19.

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge has been implemented at the Mental Health Commission of Canada, UBC, WestJet, Memorial University, Harvard Law School and more. Research at Sauder School of Business found evidence that the Challenge lowers stress, increases resilience, improves teamwork, and strengthens leadership skills. The Challenge also teaches ‘mindfulness-in-action’ so people don’t need to stop what they are doing to become calmer, present and focused.

If the pilot is successful at RRC and we offer the Challenge again in the future, there may be a modest cost attached. Getting involved in the pilot is your chance to receive this training for free!