Health Minds Healthy College

Campus Well-Being

Programs and Resources

February Fitness Classes: Yoga, Strength and Movement

February 1, 2022

Campus Well-Being Coordinator, Evelyn Carriere, delivering Full Body Strength and Conditioning class to students and staff who are working out at home.

The Campus Well-Being team is here to support your physical and mental health. Until we can welcome you to our facilities in person, we invite students and staff to join our live, virtual classes.

To join, simply register and show up ready to move. Your camera and microphone will be turned off, but you will be able to communicate with your instructor using the chat box. Our goal is to help you refresh and rejuvenate before you get back to your school or work day.

Full Body Strength and Conditioning with Evelyn Carriere

  • Mondays and Wednesdays 12:15-12:45pm
  • Body weight only, equipment is optional for additional challenge
  • Modifications for all fitness levels

Register for each class that works for you:

Functional Moving with Mario De Negri

  • Thursdays 12:15-12:45pm
  • Functional movement and restoring
  • Rubber exercise bands, body weight and light weights are used
  • Modifications for all fitness levels

Register for each class that works for you:

Yoga with Holly Pluchinski

  • Tuesdays 4-4:30pm
  • Fridays at noon-12:30pm
  • Yoga for all levels

Register for each class that works for you:

For any questions or accessibility needs, please contact recreation@rrc.ca.

To further support your wellness, check out our virtual paint night, cooking night and our free fitness and lifestyle consultations.

New! Fitness and Lifestyle Consultations

January 16, 2022

Campus Well-Being is now offering fitness and lifestyle consultations to staff and students.

Looking for some expert fitness advice? Not sure where to start on your journey to better overall health? Book a free, virtual session with one of our certified fitness professionals.

What to expect from a consultation

Your consultation will will take 30 to 40 minutes and can be done over the phone or via MS Teams. Your coach will ask you some questions about your current health, fitness, and lifestyle before collaborating with you on a plan to take concrete, actionable steps to better your health.

You are welcome to book up to two additional check-ins with your coach to talk about your progress and any obstacles you’ve faced.

How to book a session

To book a consultation, please contact a coach directly to set up a mutually agreeable time.

Your coaches

Mario De Negri

Mario De Negri is the Fitness Coordinator for Red River College Polytechnic. He’s been training in fitness and wellness for over 20 years and has a number of certifications in personal training, yoga and massage. He’s traveled abroad to study different forms of training in health and wellness and has completed a couple 10-day non-speaking meditations. His personal goal is to live to be 100 years old. He believes that being healthy isn’t just about picking up weights, but involves working on one’s inner and outer aspects in order to naturally feel more comfortable in one’s own body.

Mario is available Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-6pm. Book a consultation by contacting him at mdenegri@rrc.ca.

Evelyn Carriere

The reason Evelyn trains is to keep up with her Grandma. Evelyn has always admired her energy and adventurous lifestyle! By 90 years of age, she was still doing handstands against the wall in her condo. Evelyn wants to follow in Grandma’s footsteps while encouraging others to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. It’s never too late to be a boss.

Certifications

  • CPT (Certified Personal Trainer), American Council on Exercise
  • Senior Fitness Specialist
  • Emergency First Aid & CPR/AED Level C, Canadian Red Cross

Experience

  • 2 + Years in Fitness Industry (Small group + team training, 1-on-1 coaching, Crossfit Masterclass 55+)
  • 13 + Years Coaching Volleyball (Canada and Europe)
  • 3 Years as a Professional Athlete (Indoor Volleyball)

Evelyn is available to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-11am. Book a consultation by contacting her at emcarriere@rrc.ca.

Limitations

Fitness and lifestyle consultations are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Staff and students should consult a medical professional if they are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.

Cookies with Kerri- Creativity, Coping, and Cookies

December 20, 2021

The holiday season is the perfect time for gathering with friends, new and old, and sampling sweet treats.

This heart-warming combination came together in a special virtual event planned by RRC Polytech’s Language Training Centre (LTC) and Student Life as part of the Healthy Minds, Healthy College Strategy. 

“Cookies with Kerri,” hosted by Kerri Korabelnikov, dean for the School of Education, Arts & Sciences, saw 50 students register for an online chocolate chip cookie baking lesson. While everyone got to enjoy a tasty treat at the end, the aim of the event went beyond baking.

“This wasn’t about just chocolate chip cookies, it was about connecting with people and creating a community,” says Korabelnikov. “It was very energizing; everyone was laughing and having a lot of fun.”

Students now living in Winnipeg but originally from around the world, including Korea, Mexico, and Colombia, collected ingredient kits in advance. On a blustery December evening, they joined together to participate step-by-step in a two-hour online session, hosted by Korabelnikov and supported by Michelle Johnson, manager of Student Integration and Employment Outreach at the LTC.

Students were also encouraged to involve their children in the cookie-making class, which made the experience even more special, says Korabelnikov.

The online baking activity was a family affair for LTC student Heidi Novelo Poot and her eight-year-old daughter, Maya.

“It was something different that you can enjoy with the kids and meet other people,” says Novelo Poot. “She (Maya) was so proud, and I think that was the best part. And those cookies were very good, and the recipe was easy.”

Another student, Gabriel Novelo (no relation to Novelo Poot), has been in Manitoba since moving from Mexico in August and is taking classes with the LTC. Activities like “Cookies with Kerri” are a good way to connect with people, Novelo says, something that is more challenging in the middle of a pandemic.

“I wanted to participate with students from other classes. As a newcomer, I need to be in touch with as many students as possible,” Novelo says. “As a newcomer, you need to integrate and take part in all of the activities.”

For Novelo, who operated a food truck in Mexico, the experience marked another first.

“It was fantastic because I used to cook in my food truck, but I never baked. This was the first time I had the chance to bake something,” says Novelo, adding the cookies “magically disappeared” quickly.

In addition to building a stronger sense of community, there are other positive mental health benefits to activities like baking, says Pamela Villafranca, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC Polytech.

“We want to introduce students to different self-care activities. We may not think of it this way, but cooking, baking and prepping food can be a form of self-care; it can be therapeutic for some folks, the process of working with your hands, mixing the ingredients, and getting to sample the final product can feel really good,” says Villafranca. “This workshop promoted connection and community building, and taking a break from your studies to learn a new skill.”

Villafranca shares some key wellness tips to stay connected and support your mental health:

  • Find ways to stay connected with your peers and your instructors – join group chats, use instructor office hours, turn on your video in class, and participate, such as asking questions in class
  • Recognize that we need a variety of forms of self-care, and we may need varying types of self-care at different times of our lives
  • Try something new! Baking cookies is one example of a self-care activity that helps you get creative, learn something new, and work with your hands
  • Learn about the services that you can access for support, including the Mental Health Coordinator and Student Support Services department

Above all, Villafranca notes: “We want the students to know that staff and faculty are here for them, and we want to support them.”

To learn more about wellness initiatives at RRC Polytech, the Healthy Minds Healthy College Blog. 

You can also try out Kerri’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup margarine or butter 2 tsp hot water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix white sugar, margarine or butter and brown sugar together
  3. Combine baking soda and hot water in separate dish
  4. Add baking soda/water, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and stir
  5. Stir in chocolate chips
  6. Form dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 350F for 9 -11 minutes
  8. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and let cool
  9. Enjoy your delicious cookies

And feel free to reach out and let us know what you think!

2022 Mental Health Events- Create a Vision Board!

December 14, 2021

Join RRC alumni, Amanda Le Rougetel for a night of Vision Board fun!

What is a Vision Board?

Also known as dream boards, a vision board is a visualization tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and pictures that represent your goals and dreams. These inspirational collages serve as your image of the future – a tangible example, idea or representation of where you are going. By putting a vision board somewhere you can see it every day, you will prompt yourself to visualize your ideal life on a regular basis.

What supplies do you need?

All you need is: a pair of scissors, glue, stock paper/poster board, and magazines!

Don’t have any magazines, but still want to participate? Register below, and check ‘yes‘ to needing supplies.

Magazines must be picked up at the Notre Dame or Exchange District campus. Pick-up times will be directly e-mailed to you.

Don’t forget – you can also participate virtually with absolutely no supplies with the help of Canva!

REGISTER HERE

Cooking for Wellness: A Hands-On Virtual Workshop

September 28, 2021

Did you know that eating balanced meals regularly can reduce anxiety symptoms, increase energy levels, and even improve concentration and memory? Eating habits are critical to overall wellness, yet when we get busy or stressed we often don’t make the best food choices.

So, show yourself some love by cooking a delicious and balanced meal. Join our free, hands-on virtual workshop and learn how to make pancit while cooking alongside your instructor, Abby Legaspi!

Date: Wednesday, October 6

Time: 6-8pm

Menu: Pancit (a Filipino noodle dish)

Register here. After registering you will receive a Zoom link to join. Seating is limited to 20 participants.

Ingredient kits

If you require a kit with ingredients, be sure to register by October 1 so you can pick up the kit on October 5th or 6th. For this event, kits can only be picked up at the Notre Dame Campus. You may also simply purchase the ingredients at your local grocery store.

THRIVE Activities

This workshop is part of our THRIVE activity series, hosted by the RRCSA and Healthy Minds Healthy College. THRIVE activities provide opportunities for balance and self-care, which we all need right now. All students and staff are welcome. For accessibility needs or questions please contact Breanna Sawatzky.

Your Instructor

Cooking for Wellness workshop instructor Abby Legaspi

Abby Legaspi is a Nutrition graduate from the University of Manitoba with 10 years’ experience running cooking programs for different non-profit and grass roots organizations. She now works at Norwest Coop Community Food Centre and is passionate about almost everything related to food, from gardening to cooking. Abby sees food as a means to connect people while recognizing that food insecurity can be experienced by so many. As an advocate for good food, it is Abby’s hope that one day, everyone will be food secure.

 

Help RRC Create a Peer Support Program: We Want to Hear From You!

September 28, 2021

Student wellbeing is crucial to Red River College. As part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College Strategy, Mental Health Innovations (MHI) will be engaging students and instructors to help shape a potential student mental health peer support program.

Attend a virtual focus group

Students and instructors alike are invited to attend a 2 hour focus group, conducted via Zoom.  Students will engage in sessions with other RRC students, while instructors will engage in a session with other RRC instructors.

Participants will be compensated for their time with a $40 e-gift card.

Each session will be led by two facilitators from Mental Health Innovations and a student co-facilitator from RRC.

We ask that you have access to a computer with a working camera, microphone, and a stable internet access.

Students can register here and select a time that works best for them.  There are four sessions to choose from.

Instructors: We want hear from you

We also want to hear from instructors. Instructors have a unique lens through which they observe both student struggles and student resilience. Share your thoughts with us by registering in a faculty focus group.

The faculty session will take place on Thursday, November 4 from noon – 2pm and will also be facilitated my Mental Health Innovations. Instructors will also be compensated for their time with a $40 e-gift card.

Your voice matters

No knowledge of peer support is required to take part in the focus groups. Your own perspectives and opinions are all you need in order to help us out.

By sharing your own views on what will and will not work at RRC, you’ll be helping us design a program that will indeed be used and valued by students. At other institutions, peer support has improved student wellbeing and success. With your assistance, we can understand how to bring those same benefits to RRC.

Questions can be directed to Breanna Sawatzky.

Supporting Survivors During Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Year Round

April 20, 2021

 

By Jess Spindler, Resource and Resolution Advisor

April of each year is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)  SAAM is an international movement dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence, its impacts, and supports available for those affected by sexual violence.

SAAM can be empowering for some survivors, while difficult and emotionally draining for others. Here are some ways that you can prioritize your health and wellbeing this month and every day of the year:

These resources and many others are included in the College’s Library Guide on Sexual Violence Awareness, Education, Prevention and Supports. The Guide includes links to books, articles, videos, websites and other resources on a range of related topics such as:

  • Campus sexual violence
  • Building a culture of consent
  • Understanding trauma and trauma-informed practice
  • Self-care, healing and recovery
  • Male survivors
  • BIPOC perspectives

Red River College is committed to a safe and inclusive working and learning environment for our staff and students, free from all forms of sexual violence. This commitment extends to all Colleges spaces—whether you are studying on campus, or learning online.

If you have experienced sexual violence, know that it is not your fault. Acts of sexual violence are the responsibility of the perpetrator alone, and you are never to blame. You should also know that you are not alone— you have the option of sharing your experience and accessing help. There are supports available to you through the College, including:

  • The College’s Resource and Resolution Advisor Jess Spindler is available to discuss with you your options for reporting a concern to the College, if another member of the College community was involved.
  • RRC Counselling Services are available to all students. Appointments with a counsellor are available by phone or video conferencing. Counselling can offer help with personal/relational challenges, managing mental wellness, and support in times of crisis.
  • The REES (Respect Educate Empower Survivors) online reporting tool, which allows survivors to make a report of sexual violence to their College or police using a secure online reporting form.
  • The College’s No Wrong Door microsite includes information about College policies and procedures on sexual violence, and additional information about supports.

If you are in crisis and need to speak with a counsellor immediately, please contact
Klinic’s 24 hour crisis line at: 1-888-322-3019, or
Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-292-7565

In the case of an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room

 

Mindfulness Challenge: Prize Winners Announced

March 3, 2021

To start 2021 on a mindful note, dozens of staff and students engaged in a 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge. The Challenge involves participating in short online lessons and practice for, you guessed it, 30 days.

While mindfulness practice can’t take away all of our stressors, it can certainly build up our ability to cope with these in healthy ways. By improving our ability to be in the present moment with openness and non-judgement, we can strengthen our mental resilience.

Everyone who completed was entered in a prize draw and we’re happy to announce the winners.

Grand Prizes

Grand prize winners each receive a $50 gift card to Good Local. Good Local is an online marketplace that makes it easy for Manitobans to buy local. Congratulations to winners Mavis McRae and Tim Reyes.

Second Prizes

Second prize winners each receive a $25 gift card to Good Local. Congratulations to winners Rita Zuba Prokopetz and Jaewook Park.

The Challenge

We asked our winners what they thought of the Challenge and here’s what they had to say.

Prize winner and challenge completer, Mavis McRae.

“The 30 day challenge is perfect for a task oriented person. The quick tips and bite sized info was just enough to remind me to take a second before reacting or switching tasks. Since habits build over time, 30 days is unlikely enough to build new good habits, but at least it is a start.  It was a good wake up call to all the things I do on autopilot.” – Mavis McRae, Director, Prairie Research Kitchen

Remember, the Challenge is available all year round and you can even do it with a buddy to keep you on track. Create your account to get started.

“The Mindwell training took me longer than 30 days because I wanted to ensure I was in the moment during every 5-minute session. We discussed some of the concepts in class, and some students ended up taking the training as well – some have completed it already. We used the learning to discuss self-discoveries, metacognition, etc. in one of our classes.” – Rita Zuba Prokopetz, Instructor

For any questions about the Mindwell resources, please contact Mental Health Coordinator, Breanna Sawatzky.

A Mindful Start to 2021 (with prizes!)

January 12, 2021

As we begin a new year amid ever present challenges, it’s a good idea to take time to develop a healthy mindset, along with stress management skills. With this in mind, you’re invited to join dozens of other RRC students and staff in a 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge.

Can you receive difficult messages with openness? Can you reverse the stress response and calm your nervous system? Are you able to step back from your thoughts and watch them come and go? All of these skills are key to building good mental health and all are part of the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge curriculum.

The Challenge takes just five minutes a day, anytime, anywhere and on any device, yet there is evidence that it lowers stress, increases resilience, improves teamwork, and strengthens leadership skills.

The Challenge teaches ‘mindfulness-in-action’ so people don’t need to stop what they are doing to become calm, present and focused.

Learn more about the Challenge and other mindfulness resources here.

Registration

All RRC students and staff can register for the challenge here. You can even register a buddy to keep you motivated. You can register any time, but your challenge will officially begin on the Tuesday after you register.

Prize draw

Complete all 30 days of the Challenge and you unlock a certificate that will get you entered into a draw for prizes, including one of two $50 gift cards to Good Local. Simply send your certificate to blsawatzky@rrc.ca before February 28 and you will be entered to win.

Please contact Breanna Sawatzky with any questions.

Students, Request a Telephone Wellness Check Today

April 21, 2020

RRC Counsellor, Lindsay Storey-Iliffe, ready to support students.

Sometimes, when faced with new challenges it helps to talk things out with an understanding, supportive person. That’s why RRC now offers telephone Wellness Checks.

Simply complete this secure online form, and a Counselling Services team member will call you for a brief, supportive conversation. During the call, you will be invited to express how you’re doing and you’ll receive empathic, non-judgmental support. If needed, you may also be directed to other helpful resources.

You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here for you.

If you need more support than a telephone Wellness Check can offer, there are a range of other services available to you. Learn more.