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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-632-2061.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Whether you’re moving, in transition, or you’re starting over, LifeWorks is here to help you through the changes in your life.
You may be leaving home, starting a new job, getting used to a roommate, or adjusting to life as a single person. Maybe you’re coping with a health change, or the challenges of a new phase of life. Contact LifeWorks any time, 24/7, to speak with a professional consultant for confidential support and resources.
You can also log in any time to www.lifeworks.com to access helpful online resources such as these:
Call LifeWorks toll-free, any time: 1-877-207-8833
You can also visit www.lifeworks.com
(username: rrcefap; password: efap).
December 15, 2014 – As many Canadians escape the winter cold this holiday season to visit family and loved ones or to celebrate with their toes in the sand, it is important that Canadians understand what they need to do to ensure that their well-deserved vacation does not turn into a holiday disaster.
Canada’s team of dedicated consular officials assist thousands of Canadian travellers abroad each year. We provide consular assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through more than 260 points of service in 150 countries. However, there are some situations that not even a Christmas miracle can resolve. That is why Canadians need to prepare before they travel to ensure that their vacation goes off without a hitch. Here are some tips from me to you this holiday season:
- A Canadian Passport Is Not a “Get-Out-of-Jail-Free-Card” Canadians should recognize that they are subject to the local laws of the country they are travelling, which are often different from those in Canada. Canada cannot intervene in foreign judicial processes, just as we would not accept a foreign government intervening in ours. Canadians abroad are expected to adhere to local laws, just as they would in Canada. We keep Canadians up-to-date on country-specific advice and information which can be found at: Country travel advice and advisories.
- Say Yes to Travel Insurance Canadians are urged to always purchase travel and medical insurance before they leave Canada. In almost all circumstances, the Government of Canada—and the taxpayer—will not help pay for a ticket back to Canada or medical treatment. Don’t let unforeseen bills ruin your vacation and your wallet. For more information please visit: Travel insurance.
- Register With Us Canadians can register their travel plans with our team of consular officials for free either online or through our mobile app. The purpose of registering is solely to ensure that if there is an emergency in the area you are travelling in, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, we can reach you quickly and provide you with guidance and assistance. This quick registration will take you two minutes but will provide us with invaluable information to help assist you when you need it most. For more information on our Registration for Canadians Abroad, please visit: Registration of Canadians Abroad.
- Know How to Reach Us Canadian consular officials can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our call collect number (613) 996-8885 or by email email@example.com. We staff this line with live officials at all times. Call us immediately if you are in trouble.
- We Love to Help—But We Cannot Supply You with Maple Syrup Yes—Canadians have asked us to supply them with an emergency supply of maple syrup and have even asked us to arrange for a chauffeur for their pet poodle through the airport during their holiday travel. As much as we love a good Canadian breakfast staple and are pet lovers ourselves, unfortunately Canadians have an unrealistic expectation of what we are here to help them with. For a list of what consular officials can and cannot do, please visit: Consular Services: general.
Finally, from my family to yours, I would like to personally wish you warm wishes this holiday season and safe travels wherever it may take you.
Lynne Yelich Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)
Remember to check with a travel clinic to ensure all immunizations are up to date. Some countries may ask about your immunization status. Keep track of your immunizations by downloading this app. It includes any health alerts.
Courtesy of Health Services
One month from today, your intrepid Red River Rebel Riders will be back in Riding Mountain National Park with a goal of raising $5,000 for MS in this, their 11th year! The only change in the team for 2014 is the addition of Deron Warkentin from the Roblin Campus, replacing Wayne Ferguson who is recovering from hip surgery.
Yes, 2014 marks 11 years! How can you help to make it a perfect ride?
- Donate securely online by clicking on any team member’s name at this site. All monies raised go to supporting those suffering with MS or to MS research.
- Join the 2014 team. As already mentioned, we are currently 7 riders: Marnie Boulet, Guy Dugas, Dayna Graham, Miguel Guzman, Mar-Zeus Macasieb, Michael Poitras, and Deron Warkentin. Train with us through August to get in shape for the big ride Sept. 6-7. Email Captain Marnie for details or simply click here and then click on the Join team button.
Together we can end MS. Help make 2014 a perfect ride!
It can be difficult to balance the demands of work with those of your personal life. LifeWorks offers resources and professional services to assist you in living a more balanced life, and achieving your goals.
LifeWorks is a full-service Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) available 24 hours a day, seven days a week! 
Full-service, meaning not only will you have the opportunity to seek counseling, but you will also have access to a variety of resources, such as :
- 24/7 telephone access to bilingual consultation with experts on child care, parenting, education, elder care, nutrition and wellness;
- Initial in-person consultation for legal issues;
- Referrals to helpful community resources;
- Extensive library of educational materials including articles, booklets, kits and audio recordings;
- Online interactive tools, information and resources
Whether you’re struggling to find a doctor who is accepting new patients in your area, or looking for ways to improve your health and wellness, LifeWorks has a variety of useful tools and resources that can help you make those first steps toward your goals.
LifeWorks can help you with your concerns relating to :
LIFE: Stress/Overload, Anxiety, Depression, Grief/Loss, Community Resources
FAMILY: Parenting, Separation/Divorce, Blended Families, Caring for Older Adults, Education
MONEY: Saving/Investing, Debt Management, Estate Planning/Wills, Home Buying/Renting
WORK: Work Relationships, Job Stress/Burnout, Managing People
HEALTH: Fitness/Nutrition, Sleep, Addiction/Recovery, Smoking Cessation
Counseling services can be personalized to suit whatever method you are comfortable with, both telephonic and in-person .
LifeWorks is confidential. Neither your employer nor anyone else will know that you used LifeWorks without your consent, except when governed by law.
You won’t have to wait long for service as more than 80 per cent of calls are answered within 20 seconds! Or, you can access LifeWorks on their website www.lifeworks.com or on their mobile app. 
Benefits of using your Employee Assistance Program with LifeWorks :
- Increase productivity
- Reduce physical and mental health concerns
- Manage personal and professional challenges
- Make healthier lifestyle choices
- Maintain Wellness; and
- Achieve work-life balance
To contact LifeWorks: 1.877.207.8833
Français : 1 877 307-1080 TTY: 1.877.371.9978
User ID: rrcefap Password: efap
 Ceridian LifeWorks. Frequently Asked Questions: Your EFAP & Work-Life/Wellness Resource.
 Ceridian Canada Ltd. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Ever wonder where you can find information related to how you can participate in improving workplace approaches to wellness? Mental health is one aspect of workplace wellness and employers, employees and student bodies are gathering information on how to keep healthy. Our work and study affect our health and we want to be as best prepared for challenges as we can.
Take the plunge!
Safe Manitoba has excellent recently posted information that includes ideas for employees and employers on how to make workplaces better from a psychological perspective. It is called the mental health toolkit.
Feeling safe, well and appreciated whether staff or student is important for today but good habits also impact our future health. Challenge yourself, co-workers and fellow students to change one habit for the better.
Be involved on a safety committee, staff or student wellness committee and help make your work/educational organization a better place. Be involved! It’s good for your health!
from Health Services
A brave team of 8, the ‘United Colors of RRC’, braved a hostile territory of pink, blue, green, purple,and yellow this past Sunday at the Color Me Rad race at Red River Exhibition Park.
We had a great time and while most plan to take part again next year, one runner and her husband plan on taking part in Rad Runs in Vegas and Fresno later this year too!
Please enjoy our before and after pics below and we hope to have you on our team next year!
To learn more about the race, please read the wellness post from June 27th and various articles in the news as well!