Health Minds Healthy College

Healthy Minds Healthy College

Students

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.

 

Want to tell your mental health story? Get in touch today!

October 1, 2019

We’re looking for a student who attends either the Notre Dame Campus or the Exchange District Campus to participate in a panel discussion at our upcoming Movies for Mental Health event. Click here for details about the event. You will be given a $40 honorarium for your time.

By volunteering your time and expertise, you play a crucial role in creating an event that will reduce the stigma around mental illness and encourage others to seek the help they need.

Being a Student Panelist

As a student panelist, your role is to share a real, lived-experience story to show the power that live storytelling can have in reducing mental health stigmas. Your generosity in talking about your experiences – the good parts and the bad – is actively helping your peers to overcome their own inhibitions that might prevent them from getting help. You are living, breathing proof that recovery and healing are possible and that mental wellness is real and attainable!

As you begin to put together your five-minute story, we invite you to reflect on what your main message is – what you’d like the audience to take away from your story. That can help guide you as you decide what you’d like to share. It can also be helpful to decide what pieces of your story, if any, you’d prefer not to share. You are in charge of what you share, and there is no pressure to go beyond what is comfortable for you.

If you’re interested in this opportunity, please contact Breanna today.

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.

Want to Improve Mental Health on Campus? We’re Searching for Student Volunteers!

September 3, 2019

Rakeshkumar Patel, Nursing Student and Thrive Ambassador

Are you a student who is looking for service learning opportunities? Want to contribute to a healthier campus community? We’re searching for students who can devote ten hours to our Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative.

All hours will be on campus with plenty of training and support. Students will use and enhance a variety of skills in the roles of:

  • Resource Promoter
  • Thrive Week Ambassador
  • Advisory Group Member

To learn more about these opportunities, please attend the Volunteer Information and Orientation Session on Tuesday, September 24, from 12:05 – 12:50 in the ETV studio (GM33).

Can’t make it in person? Catch the livestream. Time doesn’t work for you? Contact Breanna for a recording of the session or with any questions.

Come work with us to improve mental health at RRC!

Check out the detailed position descriptions and anticipated schedule of service here: HMHC Volunteer Info

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.

7 Actions to Help You Perform Well on Exams

April 23, 2019

Image courtesy of the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health

Exam period is a particularly stressful time. Consider these tips so you can take a positive approach to doing well and demonstrating your learning.

  1. Exercise. Take some time from your exam preparation to move and be active. Some experts recommend concentrating on your material for approximately 50 minutes, then taking a ten minute break to walk and give your attention a rest.
  2. Relax. Maybe you relax my meditating, deep breathing, petting your dog, drawing or getting lost in a good song. Take time each day to this kind of true relaxation.
  3. Eat well. Feed your brain with high quality foods that give you energy to do your best. Notice foods that make you feel drowsy or sluggish and avoid those.
  4. Recognize your achievements. Remind yourself of your successes over the term, including things you’ve learned and skills you’ve developed. Keeping this positive mindset will help you remain focused.
  5. Sleep. It’s tempting to stay up all night, cramming, but sleep allows your memories to consolidate and better prepares you for your exam. Sometimes, you may even dream about the material, which is pretty neat.
  6. Reward yourself. If you stick to your study schedule and get some good work done, reward yourself with something that will boost your mood and motivation. Choose your rewards wisely to ensure they don’t derail your schedule and budget!
  7. Plan time away. Schedule your breaks to you can enjoy them guilt free, knowing that they are part of your plan. Work hard and rest. Work hard again and rest again. Repeat as needed, keeping that positive cycle going.

These strategies will help you stay on-track and perform your best on upcoming exams. Good luck!