Posts by Healthy Minds Healthy College

RRC Team Cycles Canada’s Largest Bike Ride for Mental Health

June 26, 2018 • Written by

On Sunday, June 24 a fourteen person team from RRC cycled 21K in Canadian Mental Health Association’s annual Ride Don’t Hide event. Ride Don’t Hide is Canada’s largest bike ride for Mental Health with 31 communities across 7 provinces and over 7,000 people riding.

Our team rode to raise awareness and highlight the importance of mental health, fight the stigma associated with mental health problems, and raise funds for quality mental health services.

The community ride began in Vimmy Ridge Park and took cyclists through Wolseley, along Wellington Crescent, through River Heights, to the Legislative grounds, The Forks, along Waterfront Drive, and through Downtown before returning to Vimmy Ridge Park for refreshments and live music.

In addition to supporting a good cause, the morning ride provided a chance to be active and social while enjoying nature- all of which contribute to good mental health. Three cheers for all of our riders and to the College for sponsoring our team!

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings for May 28 – June 3

May 29, 2018 • Written by

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.



Do you have some favorite reading you’d like featured? Contact Breanna.

#GetLoud for Mental Health Week

May 8, 2018 • Written by

May 7-13 is Mental Health Week, a time to #GetLoud about what mental health really is. Although, that’s kind of every day here on MindIt!, it’s fun to join in.

Mental health is not mental illness. It’s a resource for living that allows us to live a balanced and full life. Mental health is not about being happy all the time, but about feeling a sense of purpose, belonging, and confidence in who we are.

There are social conditions that contribute to good mental health, like feeling safe in our communities and having adequate housing. At the same time, there are personal actions we can take to improve out mental health. Connecting with people we love or expressing emotions in healthy ways are just two actions that can be helpful. Find more suggestions on the CMHA Mental Health Week page. What can you do this week to improve your mental health?

Wellness Weekly: Recommended Reading for May 7-13

May 8, 2018 • Written by

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.

Don’t forget to #GETLOUD for Mental Health Week.

  • Mental Health Commission of Canada Statement on Mental Health Week. In her statement, Louise Bradley (President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada) encourages Canadians to monitor their mental state with the same interest they devote to managing their blood-pressure or any other physical concern. She also draws a link between public services like education and childcare and good mental health.



  • How Physical Fitness can Boost Your Career. Here Ivan Ho makes the case for developing good exercise related habits, encouraging readers to put health first. He ties physical activity with mental clarity, improved energy, and increased ability to meet work demands.

Do you have some favorite reading you’d like featured? Contact Breanna.

Wellness Weekly: Recommended Reading for April 30 – May 6

May 1, 2018 • Written by

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.

  • Psychology Professor, Dr. Mary Gomes writes about why she assigns her students electronic media fasts. She shares the benefits of unplugging, highlights some students reflections on the experience, and gives some tips for breaking poor screen habits. Read more at Five Reasons to Take a Break from Screens. – Greater Good Science Centre


  • Dr. David DiStreno argues that using willpower alone is not the best way for students to resist tempting distractions and focus on academic work. He presents evidence that  developing gratitude and pride, along with grit, will make students more resilient. Read more at We’re Teaching Grit the Wrong Way. – The Chronicle of Higher Education


Do you have a favorite you’d like featured? Contact Breanna.

Help Navigating the Mental Health Service System

April 26, 2018 • Written by

Have you ever felt at a loss as to where to go to get help with your mental health? As with most large and complex systems, the system of mental health care can be confusing to navigate, leaving people overwhelmed and unsure of where to go and who to talk to.

To help Manitobans connect with the appropriate services that meet their needs, Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba and Winnipeg branch has opened a Service Navigation Hub. Their Navigation Specialists can meet with you to help determine what sort of service might be most helpful to you and help you connect with that service.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba and Winnipeg is part of a nation-wide, charitable organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.

To contact a member of CMHA’s Service Navigation Hub, call 204-775-6442, e-mail, or visit them at 930 Portage Ave, Winnipeg.

Therapy Dogs on Campus! April 25th and 26th

April 24, 2018 • Written by

The end of term can be a very stressful period, with students experiencing added pressure to complete projects and perform well on exams. In order to help students cope with this stress, we’re welcoming the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program to campus. Students will be encouraged to sit with, feel, touch and pet a trained dog, enjoying the relaxing effect this can have on their mind, body, and emotions.

According to St. John Ambulance, the nation-wide program boasts 3,354 volunteer teams who assisted more than 120,000 clients throughout 2015. Therapy dog teams visit hospitals, retirement residences, care facilities, schools and universities.

Therapy dogs have been on campus in the past, and many students have genuinely enjoyed the visits.

Please join us at the following times/locations:

Wednesday, April 25 in the Cave Lounge at NDC, 11:30am-1:00pm

Thursday, April 26 in the Atrium of Roblin Centre, 11:30am-1:00pm

For more information, please contact Breanna Sawatzky at 204-632-2061 or

Meditation Sessions Are Back at NDC

April 3, 2018 • Written by

Looking for a rejuvenating lunch hour pause? Join mindfulness meditation facilitator Barb Read every Tuesday at 12:15 pm as she helps staff and faculty access a sense of peace, focus, and wellbeing.

Sessions take place in E305 and last about half an hour, beginning with a reading and an intention before a 15 minute meditation practice. Barb helps participants explore themes like brining mindfulness to the mundane, learning to savor silence, and mindful eating.

All staff and faculty are welcome. The final session for the season will be Tuesday, May1st.

Register Today for a Body Image Improvement Workshop

March 27, 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  Body Image Improvement Workshop, based on The Body Project, that is designed to help students feel better about their bodies.

Notre Dame Campus Diversity Centre (D208) on Tuesday, April 10 from 4:15 – 7:30pm.

Exchange District Campus room P312 on Thursday, April 12 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.

Pizza dinner is provided and spaces are limited, so register soon by completing the online form here:

For more information please call 204-632-2061, or email

*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: or by attending one of our offices (NDC – D102; EDC – P210).

Did You Miss Craig Heisinger? Watch the recording!

March 23, 2018 • Written by

Earlier this month, RRC welcomed Winnipeg Jets exec Craig Heisinger (Zinger) to give a mental health awareness talk. If you missed it, you’re invited to watch the recording here.

Zinger spoke about his relationship with Rick Rypien who, while struggling with poor mental health, played parts of six seasons with the Manitoba Moose and Vancouver Canucks. After Rick’s death by suicide, Zinger and the True North Foundation started Project 11 to help students learn skills to build strong, positive mental health. Zinger now speaks at many schools each year, highlighting the importance of mental health and support. His talk at RRC was both informative and heartfelt.

on Twitter, check out #ZingerAtRRC to see some of the statements that resonated with those in attendance.

L-R: Kelsey Gillespie, VP Academic, RRCSA; Lauren Slegers, President, RRCSA; Craig Heisinger; Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator, RRC; Laureen Janzen, Manager, Counselling and Accessibility, RRC

RRC is committed to keeping the mental health conversation going so that every member of our community knows they are not alone and that it’s okay to reach out for support. A great way to stay informed of future events is to subscribe to this blog.

A huge thanks goes out to the RRC Students’ Association for supplying the pizza lunch and to the eTV crew for recording and livestreaming. Prize winners will be announced in a subsequent blog post.



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