Health Minds Healthy College

Healthy Minds Healthy College

Staff

Beat the Winter Blues with Light Therapy – In the Library!

December 17, 2019

Due to our northern latitude, many Manitobans experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), while others experience a milder form of winter blues. SAD is a form of depression that occurs mostly during the fall and winter months, when days shorten and sunlight decreases.

Light therapy, sitting near a specialized light each day, is one form of treatment. This is why we’re pleased to offer light therapy stations in the Exchange District and Notre Dame Campus libraries. Several regional campuses also have light therapy stations.

If you’ve been feeling changes to your mood, lower energy levels, or any of the symptoms listed below, you may want to give light therapy a try. Staff and students are invited to work or study at the station anytime the library is open.

You may also loan a smaller, portable lamp from A/V Services. That lamp may be used anywhere in the library that is near a power outlet. You’ll find instructions on proper use as well as important notes posted above the lamp.

To be effective, light from the lamp must enter your eyes indirectly. While your eyes must be open, don’t look directly at the light. Keep your session to 30 minutes, unless otherwise directed by a physician.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)

  • Feeling tired, depressed or sad
  • Increased appetite
  • Craving for carbohydrates and starchy foods
  • Weight gain
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Inability to concentrate, to focus
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Body aches and pains

If you feel that you may be experiencing any form of depression, including SAD, please speak to your primary health care provider.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic Website – www.mayoclinic.org and Northern Light Technologies Product Instructions

Thrive Week Highlights

November 19, 2019

Earlier this month we enjoyed Thrive Week, a time to focus on balance and self-care to promote positive mental health. Our planning group delivered a variety of activities to encourage staff and students to get active, relaxed, connected and creative. Here are some activities that folks enjoyed.

The Paint Party at EDC, featuring Kisa MacIsaac from Power of Painting (and RRC alum).

A nature walk through Chickadee Trail at Birds Hill Provincial Park

A student enjoying a visit from St. John Ambulance therapy dogs. Photo: Gabby Piche

Thrive Ambassador and Business Administration student, Veronica Feliz, helping students and staff sign up for a free massage. Photo: Katlyn Streilein

Registered Massage Therapist, Jason Mathes, helping a student de-stress. Photo: Katlyn Streilein

MC College students providing free manicures and braids. Photo: Sarah Vandale.

A few of the painters from the NDC party with Painting on the Prairies.

There was so much more going on that we didn’t manage to capture through photos. Even many of the regional campuses hosted activities.

We hope everyone who participated in Thrive Week enjoyed a break from the grind of school and work and is inspired to make time for balance and self-care on an ongoing basis.

This week was possible thanks to funding from the Red River College Students’ Association, Human Resource Department and Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative. Big thanks as well to the planning group: Amanda Dorscheid, Beverly Wood, Priyanji Mediwake, Arsalan Zaheer, Carmen McIntosh, Erin Edwards and Breanna Sawatzky.  Student volunteers who served as Thrive Ambassadors were a huge help.

Stay tuned for more Thrive style events in the new year.

Boosting Mental Health Can be a Walk in the Park

November 5, 2019

A walking path through Birds Hill Park

Being active in nature is great for your mental health. When the seasons change and the temperatures drop, we tend to stay inside more. Getting out for some fresh air and movement (even just walking), before the January deep freeze, can be really helpful.

This is why, for Thrive Week, we’re heading for a nature walk at Birds Hill Park.

All students and staff are invited; we have a bus chartered to transport us all.

To join the nature walk, simply email Breanna to reserve a seat on the bus. Meet us at the Notre Dame Campus bus loop at 10am Saturday, November 9th. The bus will return us to the same place at 2pm.

We’ll spend some time bird watching, walking through the trails, and enjoying some hot chocolate.

According to Manitoba Sustainable Development, this park is “a mosaic of landscapes not commonly found in such close association, such as esker ridges, dry prairie, wet meadows, bogs, and aspen-oak and mixed boreal forest communities.” 

Dress for the weather and pack some water and a snack. Family members are welcome.

Date: Saturday, November 9

Location: Meet at the Notre Dame Campus Bus Loop

Pick up time: 10am

Drop off time: 2pm

Contact: Breanna Sawatzky

 

Thrive Week Activities at EDC

October 28, 2019

Thrive Week, November 4-9,  is a time to focus on the importance of balance and self-care in developing positive mental health that supports success in learning and working.

We invite you to take a moment to do something that gets you active, creative, connected or relaxed – whatever it is you need for balance. All events are free and open to students and staff.

Exchange District Campus

Monday, November 4

Therapy Dogs
11:30am – 1pm in the Atrium
Come relax and pet a sweet, calm therapy dog.

Tuesday, November 5

Mental Health Workshop 
11:30am – 1:00pm in P107
Join educators from Klinic to explore the topic of mental health. Snacks provided.

Wednesday, November 6

Mindfulness Workshop
noon – 1pm in the Gym
Join Mario DeNegri to explore mental strategies for focus and peace.

Paint Party with Power of Painting
4pm – 6:30pm in the Dining Hall
Follow step-by-step instructions and a creative touch to your very own canvas.
Email blsawatzky@rrc.ca to save a prime seat, or just show up. Spaces limited. Snacks provided.

Thursday, November 7

Fresh Fruit and Resource Table
11am – 1pm in the Atrium
Grab a healthy snack and learn about mental health and wellness resources.

Yoga
4:15 – 5:15 pm in P107
Stretch, breathe and move your way to balance.

Friday, November 8

Braid and Manicure Bar
9am – 2pm in the Library Hallway
MC College students will help you relax as they pamper your hair and nails. First come, first served.

Thrive Week Activities at NDC

October 28, 2019

Thrive Week, November 4-9,  is a time to focus on the importance of balance and self-care in developing positive mental health that supports success in learning and working.

We invite you to take a moment to do something that gets you active, creative, connected or relaxed – whatever it is you need for balance. All events are free and open to students and staff.

For information on activities at the Exchange District Campus, click here.

Notre Dame Campus

Adult Colouring and Jigsaw Puzzle Station
All Day | Everyday
Library

Monday, November 4

Massage Therapy
9am – 2pm
Library Hall
Enjoy a 10 minute massage from a registered massage therapist.
The sign-up sheet to book your massage time opens at 8:30 am.

Yoga
4:15-5:15 pm in the South Gym
Stretch, breathe and move your way to balance.

Tuesday, November 5

Therapy Dogs
11:30am – 1pm in the Cave Lounge
Come relax and pet a sweet, calm therapy dog.

Paint Party with Painting on the Prairies
4 – 6:30pm in the Cave Lounge
Follow step-by-step instructions and add a creative touch to your very own canvas.
Email blsawatzky@rrc.ca to save a prime seat, or just show up. Spaces limited. Snacks provided.

Wednesday, November 6

Comedy Show with Big Daddy Taz
noon – 1pm in the Cave Lounge. Snacks provided.
Share some laughs over lunch.

Board Game Night
4 – 6pm in the Cave Lounge. Snacks provided.
Thursday
Come alone or with friends to play a favorite board game or learn a new one.

Thursday, November 7

Smoothies and Resource Table
8 – 10am in the Library Hall
Use the bike blender to make yourself a healthy snack.

Zen Zone
9am – 2pm in the Cave Lounge
Enjoy calm music and relaxing activities while the Cave is transformed into a spa-like space.

Braid and Manicure Bar
9am – 2pm in the Library Hallway
MC College students will help you relax as they pamper your hair and nails. First come, first served.

Friday, November 8

Mindfulness Workshop
noon – 1pm in the North Gym
Join Mario DeNegri to explore mental strategies for focus and peace.

Saturday, November 9

Nature Walk Through Birds Hill Park
10am – 2pm
Meet at the NDC bus loop to catch our chartered bus. Family members are welcome. Please email blsawatzky@rrc.ca to register.

 

Movies for Mental Health: Join Us!

September 19, 2019

On October 8 and 9 RRC is hosting Movies for Mental Health, an interactive workshop that uses the emotional power of short film to initiate dialogue with students on the topic of mental health. This FREE event is delivered by a non-profit called Art With Impact and will be hosted at both the Notre Dame and Exchange District campuses.

This peer-to-peer learning event is two hours long and features:

  • free pizza lunch for all who attend the workshop,
  • facilitated discussion,
  • three short films from Art With Impact’s library, and
  • a resource panel with campus and community services.

Join us in creating a healthy environment at RRC through dialogue and growth!

Last year, students who attended found the workshop helped increase awareness of mental health, reduce stigma, and improve knowledge about where to go for help.

Wednesday, October 9, 11am – 1pm in room P107 The Roblin Centre at Exchange District Campus

Tuesday, October 8, 1-3pm in the White Lecture Theatre at Notre Dame Campus.

For any questions or accessibility needs, please contact Breanna Sawatzky.

This event is sponsored by the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative and RRC Students’ Association as we observe Mental Illness Awareness Week. All students and staff are welcome.

Mindfulness Challenge Prize Winners!

July 29, 2019

Richard LeSage, Course Developer

In May and June dozens of staff and faculty members participated in a  30 Day Mindfulness Challenge. Upon completion, those who engaged reported the following outcomes:

  • 95% noticed improved mental health.
  • 90% were better able to focus.
  • 95% found they were managing their stress better.

And because everyone loves prizes, all who completed the challenge were entered onto a draw for one of two passes to Float.Calm or a “Take 5” prize pack. We’re pleased to announce the winners, as determined by a random number generator.

 

Winners!

Lisa Case, Instructor, Applied Computer Education

Float Calm Gift Certificate #1 – Richard LeSage

Float Calm Gift Certificate #2 – Lisa Case

Take 5 prize pack #1 – Debbie Donato

Take 5 prize pack #2 – CindyLou Benoit

Take 5 prize pack #3 – Lyle Dunlop

Take 5 prize pack #4 – Damien Goodridge

Take 5 prize pack #5 – Bridget Budney

 

Congratulations to all the prize winners. If you have not yet claimed your prize, please contact Breanna.

Congratulations as well to all those who invested the time needed to complete the challenge. In our busy schedules it can be difficult to make time to learn and practice wellbeing strategies like mindfulness. Cheers to your improved focus, sense of calm and ability to manage stress.

Debbie Donato, Employment Advisor

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge is available to all RRC staff, students, and faculty members. It takes 5 to 10 minutes a day and can begin any Tuesday that works for you.

Join Ride Don’t Hide, the Largest Mental Health Bike Ride in Canada

May 23, 2019

RRC’s 2018 Ride Don’t Hide Team

You’re invited to participate in CMHA’s ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ – Canada’s largest bike ride for mental health.  The event is held on Sunday June 23rd in 25 communities across the country with 4 and 20 kilometer route options. CMHA’s Manitoba and Winnipeg division is starting recruit bike riders for the event and RRC is excited to participate.

According to CMHA, Ride Don’t Hide is a nationwide fundraising bike ride that brings mental health out into the open. With almost 10,000 riders and hundreds more family members, friends and volunteers across Canada taking part, the ride raises more than $2 million each year for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Get on your bike and join the movement. Ride. Don’t hide.

CMHA is a community partner, helping RRC with our Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative. This makes participating in Ride Don’t Hide an ideal opportunity for us to show support in return.

In 2018, our team had a wonderful time participating in this meaningful and well organized event.

If you’d like to be part of the RRC team for Ride Don’t Hide, please contact Breanna Sawatzky or 204-632-2061. Participants can chose to raise funds, or just ride. Students, staff and faculty are welcome.

Improve Your Attention, Focus and Sense of Calm with the Mindfulness Challenge

May 14, 2019

Are you feeling motivated to invest 5 minutes a day in your own mental health? If so, please join fellow colleagues by participating in a 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge beginning either May 14 or 20.

This online training can be done anytime, anywhere and on any device. The Challenge teaches ‘mindfulness-in-action’ so you don’t need to stop what you’re doing to become calmer, present and more focused, all of which lead to a happier, healthier work environment.

Registration
Click here to register for the Challenge using your preferred email address. During the registration process, you’ll also be asked to input your mobile number and your ‘buddy’s’ email address (everyone in the Challenge gets to take it with a buddy of their choice, including friends or loved ones from outside of RRC).

Prizes
Complete all 30 days of the Challenge by June 25 and be entered to win some fabulous prizes, including one of two Float Calm experiences. Just scan or mail your certificate of completion to Breanna Sawatzky to be entered. If you’ve already started a challenge, jump back in and finish!

Did you miss Geoff Soloway’s RED Forum presentation on the Challenge? No worries, you can watch his recorded webinars.



 

If you need technical support registering, please email register@mindwellu.com. Your RRC contacts for this are Jacqueline Wood and Breanna Sawatzky.

Help Shape a National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety for Post-Secondary Students

April 9, 2019

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), in collaboration with CSA Group (standards organization), is developing a Standard on Psychological Health and Safety for Post-Secondary Students (PSS Standard).

Like the Standard developed for the workplace, the PSS Standard will act as a voluntary process guideline to help Canada’s academic institutions promote and support students’ psychological health and safety, and support students’ success.

You can influence the development of this standard in two ways:

1. Attend a Dialogue. All feedback gathered during these facilitated discussions will be forwarded to the technical committee who writes the Standard.  Choose one of the dates below and RSVP to Breanna.

Dialogues will be held in room A137 of Notre Dame Campus on Tuesday, April 16 from 9-11 am and Thursday April 18 from 2-4 pm. Refreshments will be served.

All staff and students are welcome. During small group discussions, students will be grouped with other students and staff will be grouped with other staff to enhance comfort and facilitate open and honest sharing.

2. Complete this survey; it’s anonymous and no personal identifying information will be gathered.

The Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative is pleased that RRC can support this important work. Be sure to have your say.