Students

Cupcakes & Condoms: A Healthy Relationships Event

February 6, 2018 • Written by

On February 13th, join speakers from Klinic/SERC to learn about healthy relationships, consent, and sexual harassment. Learning about these important topics will help prepare you for a healthy and positive Valentine’s Day and beyond.

All students who attend are welcome to free condoms and a red velvet cupcake from Lilac Bakery.

Room P107, Roblin Centre, Exchange District Campus, from noon-1pm on Tuesday, February 13.

Anxiety Forums on Campus: Psychologists to educate on coping skills

February 6, 2018 • Written by

February is Psychology Month; a time when Psychologists engage the public, educating us on how psychology works to help people live healthy and happy lives. (Canadian Psychology Association)

To celebrate Psychology Month, the Manitoba Psychological Society has organized a variety of educational seminars for the public on a wide variety of psychology-related topics. RRC is fortunate to be hosting two such events. We’ve called them “Anxiety Forums.”

Each forum will  include a talk by a prominent Psychologist as well as Q & A with the audience. Free pizza lunch is provided during both forums!

What is Anxiety?

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (ADAM), everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. It’s completely normal and can even be helpful. For example, if you’re anxious about an upcoming test, your anxiety can motivate you to study well. However, anxiety can sometimes become severe and negatively affect your life. If your anxiety has reached this point, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Here at RRC, Counselling and Accessibility is works with many students who are experiencing problems with anxiety. These problems affect academic success and overall well-being.

Anxiety Forum Details

During the two forums, the speakers will share helpful coping strategies related to managing anxiety in a College setting. Although the primary target audience is students, staff and faculty will no doubt benefit from the material presented and discussion to follow.

Registration is not required. All are welcome.

EDC: Wednesday, February 14th, 12 – 1pm in P107 with Dr. Gillian Alcolado and Dr. Elizabeth Hebert

NDC: Thursday, February 15th, 11am-12pm in the Orange Lecture Theatre with Dr. Jason Ediger

The NDC forum will also be recorded and streamed by eTV for the benefit of regional campuses.

Follow the link below to view the Anxiety Forum live streaming presentation: http://blogs.rrc.ca/etv/streaming/

Click on the ‘Live Stream’ image to play. No username or password is required. The stream will go live shortly before the presentation begins.

During the live presentation, you are encouraged to ask questions or add comments. To do so, please click on the “word bubble” icon found on the bottom right of the player. Please include your name, email address (if you require a follow-up response), and a subject heading.

Note: You can also use the “word bubble” to report any technical issues.

More About the Presenters

Dr. Jason Ediger, C. Psych.

Dr. Ediger has a special interest in blending cognitive behaviour therapy with mindfulness based approaches to change and coping. His practice focuses on anxiety, mood difficulties, chronic pain and health concerns in adults and adolescents. He has extensive experience with disability claims and return to work issues. Read his full bio here.

Dr. Gillian Alcolado, C. Psych.

Dr. Gillian Alcolado is a registered clinical psychologist working at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at St. Boniface Hospital. She is also an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology from Concordia University in Montreal and her residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, where she completed a major rotation in their Anxiety Disorders Treatment and Research Centre. Her research interests include the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety and related conditions.

Dr. Elizabeth Hebert

Dr. Elizabeth Hebert is a psychologist in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology and an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Her research focuses on anxiety and worry and the factors that drive them, including difficulty tolerating uncertainty in daily life. Dr. Hebert is the psychologist for the Shared Care Program in Winnipeg. Her clinical work focuses on primary care settings, and includes evidence-based psychological treatments for anxiety, mood, and ADHD; psychodiagnostic and cognitive assessments; and interdisciplinary consultation.

Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator, is happy to come speak briefly to classes in order to promote awareness of these events. Contact her at  204-632-2061 or blsawatzky@rrc.ca to set up a time.

Have You Heard? The Get Movin’ Challenge is Back

January 30, 2018 • Written by

RRC’s Recreation Services is hosting this year’s Get Movin’ Challenge. Those who are involved are trying to log 7,000 steps per day, through a variety of activities. Sign up to join the fun.

Since physical activity contributes to a healthy mind, we’re supporting the Challenge with weekly group walks outdoors at the Notre Dame Campus. These walks will be a perfect opportunity to connect with friends or colleagues, meet new people, get fresh air and sunshine, while logging 3000 steps.

Walks will start at 12:15 outside the Campus Store (NDC) and will return to the same place by 12:50.

Dates

Mondays February 5, 12, 26

All students, staff and faculty are welcome to join; there is no need to register.

 

Bell Let’s Talk Day At RRC

January 23, 2018 • Written by

On January 31st  RRC will be observing Bell Let’s Talk Day with a day full of supportive conversations about mental health and stigma-busting activities.

We know that each year one in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help. So get involved and help bring positive change.

Both Notre Dame & Exchange District Campuses

From 11 am to 2 pm. Join us in the Library Hallway (NDC) and Roblin Centre Atrium (EDC) for tea, cookies, and conversations.

You can also paint supportive images or words on our giant art canvas.

Notre Dame Campus Only

CD/CED students Eden Friesen and Nicolette Jones are delivering a workshop, teaching participants how to start supportive conversations about mental health.

Join us from 12:10-12:55 in room A308. Registration is not necessary.

Regional Campuses may participate as well; stay tuned!

All staff, students, and faculty are invited to all events.

More info about the national Bell campaign can be found here: https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/bell-lets-talk-day


The Invisible Project

January 22, 2018 • Written by

The following is a guest blog post by Austin Day, current RRC Photography student. 

I am in the process of creating “The Invisible Project.” It is a collection of photographs of people who are currently living with anxiety and/or depression. From the photographs, I will be putting together a photo album and promotional video for mental health awareness. Those who participate in the project may come back to do a video interview on their experience.

My own personal experiences inspired me to start this project. Close to 4 years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I was very ill and spent a few days in the hospital. It was a life altering experience that flipped my whole world upside down.

Fast forwarding a year after my diagnosis I started experiencing a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. I was also experiencing burnout from my diabetes. Due to my anxiety, I was unable to cope at my job. I hibernated in my home for a long time. Though my mental state has improved immensely and my diabetes is well under control, I still worry about my health and wellbeing all the time.

My goals for this video is to bring awareness to mental health. I want to provide people with an opportunity to use their voice to share their stories with others. I am calling it The Invisible Project because quite often mental illness is not recognizable on the outside. I will use photography as a tool to show people how the world perceives them compared to how they see themselves. Everyone has their own unique beauty and I’m here to showcase that.

 

 

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).

 

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.

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

 

Guest Blog: Student Mental Health Story

May 3, 2017 • Written by

The following is a guest blog from Laura McNaughton, Child and Youth Care student at the Notre Dame Campus.

 

Laura McNaughton, RRC Student

For a long time, I have felt like I’ve been living two lives. The life everyone else sees, and the life I see. These two lives are drastically different.

When I was in high school, I was known as the happiest kid in school. “She is always smiling”, “She’s so upbeat and happy”. I was sarcastic and witty and joyful, but as soon as I got home, I would sleep until the next day of school. Then I would put on my happy face again and be the other side of me. No one knew the side of me when I was alone. Even now, after I have told my story to others, they are shocked- they still always say to me “But you were so happy in high school”.

Laura’s original artwork.

Depression is like a paradox. You want the illness acknowledged, but at the same time, you also want to deny it. I guess I was in my denying stage at that time. Then I started to realize I was sinking way too far down into a hole. I was in a full blown depression, I was self harming, and to me that was my normal. I had people in my life who were there for me and helped me get through it, but it was still always there- like a friend that just won’t leave you alone. But they’re not really a friend, they’re this toxic being that helps to deteriorate you. I felt all alone, even though there were people all around me. And it took years for me to be able to look at myself and see someone who was worth being around, worth living, just worth it.

Mental health is a process….

Laura (left) helping bring therapy dogs to RRC as part of her student-led practicum in Child and Youth Care.

I am now 22 years old, and actually about to graduate the Child and Youth Care Program here at Red River College. For my last practicum in my course, I actually did this new, unique student led practicum. I was a mental health advocate, connecting with people and organizations all over the city, and helping to facilitate events. Some things I accomplished were; I helped bring therapy dogs to the college for students in exams, I joined an online peer support network, I joined the advisory committee here at the college, I went to mental health talks, created my own business cards and am currently working on my own mental health event. Basically, I did so much in this last 7 weeks that I am shocked. This is not where I thought my life would be.

Laura displaying her prescribed psychiatric medication.

I used to be anxious as all hell, and too depressed to get out of bed to come to school. I used to think I had no future, and I was not going to amount to anything. This last practicum has really helped me to flourish and become who I was meant to be. Mental health is something I am so passionate about, and because of that passion, I have seen my dream become a reality.

Don’t get me wrong- I still have my bad days, I’m still depressed and have those days where I can’t function, I am still anxious, I am on medication to help, but I have something in my life to look forward to. I have found something that gets me out of bed everyday- my passion for helping others.

Mental health is so important to understand, and I want all of us to be on the positive spectrum, but it is an everyday process. It is not something that is going to come easy for some, and that is ok. It is ok not to be ok! I want to be that support for people who feel so in the dark, they cannot see the light. I want to be that light for them.

I have and am currently struggling with a mental illness, but I am here to say, that it will not stop you from accomplishing what you want out of life. It might give you some hiccups here and there, but it is not your whole life. It is not you, it is a part of you- and you are strong and beautiful and amazing and you can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t listen to the lies your illness tells you, You can do it. I believe in you.

I used to be scared to talk about my issues openly, but if it can help someone else not feel alone then I am going to do it everyday for the rest of my life.

“I know its hard to understand, if its never happened to you, but just realize its important to talk about for someone to be able to get through

 

so lets start talking about mental illness – realize it is not a choice. these people are sick, and need more of a voice

 

We need to end the stigma around mental health, Stand up, make a change, and realize happiness is our greatest wealth”

 

-excerpt from poem by Laura McNaughton

If you would like to write a guest blog about your mental health journey, please contact Breanna, Mental Health Coordinator, at blsawatzky@rrc.ca.

Bring new meaning to the phrase “Take it to heart”

May 2, 2017 • Written by

Our hearts are more than a symbol for our feelings, although the heart does respond to stress, attraction, anxiety, joy and depression among many influencers. Our hearts provide a “pulse” (pun intended) for our current state of health – if the pressure is too high or too low we experience negative side effects, and the body responds through physical reactions such as sweating, “blushing”, feeling dizzy or short of breath. It’s important to listen to your heart when faced with mental and physical concerns, it will indicate the severity of the situation and if need be will override your whole system.

Taking care of your heart can be as simple as what you put into your body, using recipes like these found through the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/heart-healthy-recipes/rcs-20077163/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=heart-healthy. Nutritional habits, however, are rarely as simple to identify and stick to so don’t be hesitant to ask for professional assistance.

Physical activity, particularly cardiovascular exercise, will benefit your mind and body. The heart requires exercise to strengthen it, allowing it to pump blood more efficiently throughout the body and keep all vital systems nourished. Although it is not always necessary to lost weight to improve your heart health, weight loss is often a side effect of improved nutrition and physical activity. Canadians are busier than ever, in their work and home lives, and it can be very tough to set aside time each day to exercise. The best strategy in that case is to learn how to sneak more physical activity into your already established routine, such as these examples: http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/weight-management-guide/easy-ways-to-sneak-exercise-into-your-day/

Stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure, a huge strain on your heart. Learning to cope with external stressors before your body needs to physically react to call attention to the issue will benefit your mental and physical health. Resilience is our greatest weapon against stress. Learn to improve your personal resilience through this guide: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/resilience-training/in-depth/resilience/art-20046311?pg=2

Take your total health to heart, and take care of it!

 

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