Health Minds Healthy College

Campus Well-Being

Mental Health Week 2024

May 6, 2024

A close up of someone holding another person's hand in support.
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May 6th marks the beginning of Mental Health Week (MHW). This year MHW is centered on the healing power of compassion. In the fast-paced and demanding post-secondary environment, prioritizing compassion towards ourselves and others can be a challenge. We encourage the RRC Polytech community to join Canadian Mental Health Association in exploring how compassion connects everyone.

Check out some quick tips below for fostering a culture of kindness and compassion in our academic community!

The Importance of the Compassionate Approach

Compassion lies at the heart of creating inclusive and empathic communities where individuals feel valued, understood, and supported. In a post-secondary environment, where academic stressors and personal challenges intersect, cultivating compassion becomes essential for promoting mental well-being. By embracing compassion, we acknowledge the humanity of each person and create spaces where kindness and understanding thrive.

Empathy and Understanding

Empathy is the cornerstone of compassion. It allows us to connect with others on a deeper level and understand their experiences and struggles. Practicing empathy means actively listening to others’ concerns, validating their experiences, and offering support without judgement. Empathy can also promote dialogue and combat sigma in conversations about mental health. By demonstrating empathy, we can create a culture of understanding and acceptance that fosters trust and belonging. By encouraging honest and compassionate communication, we can break down barriers and foster a culture of acceptance and support.

Supporting Each Other

Compassionate communities are built on a foundation of mutual support and solidarity. As students, staff, and administrators, we have a responsibility to look out for one another and offer support in times of need. Whether it’s checking in on a struggling classmate, reaching out to a colleague who seems overwhelmed, or simply lending a listening ear, small acts of compassion can make a world of difference in someone’s life.

Another resource that can be reached is Early Asist. If you are a student who is struggling or you notice a student is struggling, you are welcome to send in a referral to our Early Asist Case Manager. Learn more about Early Asist here.

Self-Compassion and Prioritizing Self-Care

In our efforts to support others, we should not forget to extend compassion to ourselves. Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, especially during challenging times. Self-care plays a vital role in self-compassion as well because it’s a way for us to nurture ourselves. By practicing a little self-care every day, we can even prevent burnout. Whether we take breaks while studying, practicing yoga or meditation, or engage in hobbies and interests outside of academics, self-care should be a priority for everyone. Think about it this way, self-care is like sharpening a pencil. Just as a dull pencil struggles to create clear lines, neglecting ourselves dulls our ability to function and manage our emotions effectively.

Resources and Supports

Practicing compassion requires intentional effort where we decide to expend energy showing kindness to ourselves and others. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to have that energy to give. Thankfully, RRC Polytech provides supports and resources to students and employees so that we don’t have to go it alone.

Take some time to review these supports and ask yourself if one or more could help you build your mental and emotional stamina so that you have enough energy to practice compassion daily.

Events to Look Forward To

Rock Painting with Artbeat Studio

Different sized rocks that have been painted with two paint brushes and three small containers of paint.

In recognition of MHW, Campus Well-Being will be collaborating with Artbeat Studio for some rock painting. Artbeat Studio Inc. provides social supports, working art studio and gallery space, and mentorship for individuals living with mental illness for the purpose of recovery and empowerment.

Date: Tuesday, May 7

Location: EDC Atrium

Time: noon-2pm

State of Mind 2024

Campus Well-Being is excited to host our first every “State of Mind” event. This event will highlight the achievements made toward the Healthy Minds Healthy College Strategy, what is in progress, and what is coming up in the future.

Guest speakers from different departments will speak about their respective roles in the strategy. A special highlight will be to hear from instructors who have incorporated mental health and well-being practices within their classes.

Please join us on May 28th from 12pm to 1pm. This event is open to students, staff, and faculty. Light refreshments will be provided.

In Person Location: NDC – Connected Classroom (GM139) – Register here.

Virtual Location: MS Teams – Register here.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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