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Student Body Image Improvement Program: Register Today!

January 2, 2018 • Written by

Are you a female or non-binary student who feels 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  program called The Body Project that is designed to help students feel better about their bodies.

This two-session program will be held:

Notre Dame Campus Diversity Centre (D208) on two Wednesday evenings, January 10 & 17 from 4:15-6:15 pm.

Exchange District Campus room P312 on two Thursday evenings, January 11 & 18 from 4:15-6:15 pm.

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

For more information please call 204-632-2061, or email blsawatzky@rrc.ca.

To register, please complete the online form here: https://blogs.rrc.ca/counselling/resources/body-project/

*A note on gender. Some students may be concerned as to why men are excluded from this program. We hope the following note answers this concern.

The Body Project program was developed by a team of American researchers who have rigorously studied the program’s effectiveness on eating disorder prevention and body image improvement. The researchers trained several RRC staff and students to run the program according to guidelines that have proved effective in their studies. Unfortunately, when the team studied the effectiveness of the program with groups that included men, the positive impacts on those attending were diminished. This led the research team to recommend that the current RRC program be limited to female and non-binary persons, while they develop an additional program intended for men.

At this time, trained RRC staff and students will facilitate this program for female and non-binary persons only. This is not intended to be exclusionary, but to facilitate a program as recommended based on current research. Should any men wish to discuss eating disorder prevention or body image improvement, they can do so by making an appointment with an RRC counsellor through our online registration form found at: https://blogs.rrc.ca/counselling/about/book-an-appointment/ or by attending one of our offices (NDC – D102; EDC – P210).

 

RRC Staff: Start the New Year with Meditation Practice

January 2, 2018 • Written by

Start 2018 with self care!

Staff and faculty are invited to join weekly meditation session at the Notre Dame Campus. The free sessions will begin January 9, 2018, continuing every Tuesday thereafter until February 27th. Sessions run from 12-12:30 pm in B100E.

Please note that the first session on January 9th will be one hour long (12:00-1:00pm).

Meditation helps reduce stress, increase happiness, while improving concentration, mental health and overall well-being. To learn more, check out this article on 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today.

If you have any questions please contact  Beverly Wood or Suenita Maharaj-Sandhu, Workplace Equity Diversity Coordinator, HR.

This is a joint effort of the Workplace Equity Diversity Inclusion Committee & Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.

Being Well Over the Holidays

December 19, 2017 • Written by

Although the winter holidays are a time for celebration and joy, they can also make for a challenging time to be well. There are many stressors to deal with (expenses, family conflicts, packed schedules, loneliness) that are difficult to navigate.

With these challenges in mind, the Canadian Mental Health Association has released a series of infographics, called “8 Tips for Metal Wellness During the Holidays.” The first three tips are posted below, while the rest can be found on CMHA’s Twitter feed.

P.S. Did you know that Canadian Mental Health Association (Manitoba and Winnipeg Division) is a partner in RRC’s Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative? They are working with us to help ensure RRC is a mentally healthy place to learn and work.

Wishing good health and joy to all this holiday season,

Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator

Paint Night at Exchange District Campus December 7th

December 1, 2017 • Written by

Let’s keep THRIVE going all year round! On December 7th, Painting on the Prairies is returning to RRC to instruct a Paint Party at the Exchange District Campus. Join us for 2 hours of step-by-step painting, no experience necessary, and you will take home your very own version of Winterscape (pictured right).

The therapeutic benefits of painting are both mental and physical and will help you to manage any stress you have in your life while you explore your creative side. Owner and Artist of Painting on the Prairies, Amber Van Ma’iingan, has been leading paint parties for 2 and a half years and, with over 300 paint parties under her belt, she will give you all her best tips and tricks so that your painting will turn out it’s best! (and include any other information about the party you want them to know).

This event is FREE and open to all staff and students. Snacks will be provided. You may want to wear a shirt that you wouldn’t mind getting some paint on.

Date: Thursday, December 7th

Time: 4:15 – 6:15 pm

Location: Cafeteria of the Roblin Centre, Exchange District Campus

Contact person: Amanda, saevents@rrc.ca

Arrive early as there will be limited spots.

Wrapping up THRIVE Week and Prize Pack Winner

November 10, 2017 • Written by

This past week has been devoted to demonstrating the importance of self-care and balance in developing positive mental health that supports academic and career success.

Positive mental health involves feeling good and functioning well. We can say we’re mentally healthy when we feel generally satisfied with life, participate in meaningful activities, and maintain positive relationships with others. Of course this state is always in flux; we can have good days and bad days. Creating good habits in the four areas listed below can help us have more good mental health days.

  • Physical Activity

For THRIVE Week we highlighted some activities that are available on some RRC Campuses – particularly basketball, pickleball, and yoga. Check out Recreation and Athletics for support with incorporating physical activity in your day.

  • Self-expression

This week we provided opportunities for folks to get involved with expressive writing, painting, and coloring. There are many other ways to express yourself (singing, praying, baking, drumming, praying, making music, etc.) so find something that works for you and make a little time for this practice each day.

  • Social connection

Being with others who we can positively connect with, whether to laugh, play, or talk, supports our well-being. This week we brought people together over tea, cookies, and board games and several other events. In all your busyness, don’t neglect your important relationships.

  • Relaxation

A highlight of THRIVE Week were the beautiful therapy dogs from St John Ambulance. Staff and students who sat with the dogs found their nervous systems slow down in the presence of these calming animals. Folks at EDC were also treated to massages from Robertson College students. Relaxing regularly is key to good mental health. We also held music therapy and meditation workshops that were deeply relaxing.

Kyle Nobess, our Keynote Speaker delivered his talk: Mastering Confidence and Self-Belief, encouraging us to look inward to find strength on our journey to wellness.

We’d also like to thank Elder Mae Louise Campbell for holding a teaching on Women’s Self-Care. Check out the Indigenous Centre for many wellness supporting activities and teachings.

 

 

In addition, QPOC Winnipeg delivered a powerful panel discussion that educated those in attendance about the barriers faced by queer students of colour as well as what helped them thrive as post-secondary students. Thanks QPOC!


 

If you missed the presentations we have links to recordings available below.

QPOC Talks: Thriving as a Post-Secondary Student

Kyle Nobess: Mastering Confidence and Self-Belief

Prize Winner

And the winning prize ticket number is… Please email SAEvents@rrc.ca to claim your prize pack, which includes Manitoba Moose tickets, and a bunch of RRC gear from the Campus Store.


Thank-You!

Thank you to all who participated in THRIVE Week 2017. The week was a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.

Guide to THRIVE Week Events and Activities!

October 31, 2017 • Written by

THRIVE Week is a time devoted to demonstrating the importance of self-care and balance on the development of positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 6-10 at all RRC campuses.

The weeklong series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative.

THRIVE Week 2017 features

  • keynote Speaker Kyle Nobess
  • therapy dogs on campus
  • yoga
  • basketball
  • paint night
  • massage therapy
  • sweat lodge ceremony
  • pickleball
  • meditation
  • music therapy and more!

Check out the details in our Notre Dame Campus THRIVE Guide and Exchange District Campus THRIVE Guide.

THRIVE Week Keynote Talk and Pizza Lunch with Kyle Nobess

October 31, 2017 • Written by

The THRIVE Week planning group is pleased to announce that Kyle Nobess, local actor and screenwriter, will be delivering the keynote talk, “Mastering Confidence and Self-Belief: the answers are within you.” All staff and students are invited and free pizza lunch is provided. 

Celebrating more than a decade of sobriety and healthy living, Kyle has overcome the battles of addiction, low self-esteem, depression and lack of self-belief. These feelings affected not only his daily life, but his overall health and wellbeing. Through daily healing and personal development, Kyle rediscovered his self-respect, his self-worth and a true freedom within. This discovery gives him the tools and motivation to take on any task and to accomplish his goals and dreams in life. Kyle’s passion is to share with others that wellbeing is achievable and no hurdle is unsurmountable.

Check out a short video of Kyle here: https://youtu.be/3SB24ish_xY

Date: Tuesday, November 7th

Time: Noon-1pm

Location: Black Lecture Theatre, NDC

The talk will also be livestreamed to P107 at EDC.

*Thanks to eTV, livestreaming will be available at blogs.rrc.ca/etv/streaming/

Free pizza lunch will be provided at the Black Lecture Theatre (NDC) and P107 (EDC).

THRIVE Week is a time devoted to demonstrating the importance of self-care and balance on the development of positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 6-10 at all RRC campuses.

The weeklong series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative.

Stay tuned for more THRIVE Week activities!

Send Your Stress Away: Expressive writing supported by neuroscience

October 23, 2017 • Written by

Neuroscientists have found that people who are chronic worriers tend to use more brain energy when they make a mistake (see this study, for example). Knowing this, researchers have been trying to find a way to reduce this enlarged response to errors among anxious people. One strategy that appears to work is expressive writing.

Expressive writing is the process of writing about something personal and important to you without regard for grammar, spelling, punctuation or other formal strictures. You are writing only for yourself, focusing on how you feel about the topic or event about which you choose to write.

 

A recent study in the journal Psychophysiology found that anxious college students who practiced expressive writing for 8 minutes prior to a computer task, showed less of a brain response to errors than another group of anxious college students who engaged in regular writing before the computer task. The researchers propose that the mental drain anxiety creates was in deed reduced, freeing up mental resources to focus on the computer task. They conclude “expressive writing shows promise for alleviating the interfering impact of worries on cognition.”

This adds to the body of evidence that writing down our feelings, stresses, or worries can help us be more efficient in getting the things done that we need. Check out the work of James W. Pennebaker and colleagues for evidence that expressive writing is linked to better immune functioning, less distress for migraine sufferers, fewer physician appointments, and reduced anxiety.

During THRIVE Week, come down to our Send Your Stress Away event, where we’ll provide postcards on which you can practice expressive writing and give your brain a break from your worries.

Date: Wednesday, November 8th

Time: 8:30am-3:00pm

NDC: Library Hallway

EDC: North Atrium

Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator

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.