Lauren MacLean is president of the Red River College Students’ Association. She is completing her second year of Business Administration with an accounting major. After receiving her RRC diploma she plans to continue her studies towards a Commerce degree.
Over the past year I’ve met many Student Executives from across Canada through my involvement with the Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA). One thing I’ve discovered throughout my travels is that the same thing is on all our minds – mental health!
From discussions about our personal experiences with mental health to how students on campus are affected by it to what we could do to increase awareness, it’s is one of the biggest priorities on many campuses and this year the RRCSA is fully committed to keeping the conversation going.
Building on student efforts from last year, the RRCSA is partnering with the college’s Healthy College, Healthy Minds initiative to bring students a Mental Health Awareness Week from Oct. 14 to 17. During this week, students will learn skills to help them understand how to take care of their mental health and know what to do if they are struggling with a mental health issue.
We’re bringing dogs of all sizes and ages to campus to help ease some of the tension that tends to come with studying for midterms. We are also going to help students unleash their creative side with painting and drawing activities and hold a sweats and sweater day to encourage everyone to get comfy and relax.
Mental health is vitally important and it’s important that we all learn how to stay mentally healthy while during school so we can continue these good habits when we enter the workforce.
The fact is that everyone has their own way of de-stressing that works for them, because each of us encounters stress in different ways. One person’s experience is not more or less valid than the next person’s. We simply all need to pay attention to ourselves (and each other) and learn to use resources that are there for us.
Whether it’s talking to a classmate or counsellor, taking time for a quick stretch or limiting the amount of time we spend in front of the computer, there are lots of ways to be mindful of our mental health and plenty of room for discussion about all the different techniques! I for one am very excited to hear about this from students and to keep talking about mental health.