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Register for a Thrive Week Paint Party! All Staff and Students Welcome

October 30, 2018

Painting on the Prairies is returning to RRC to instruct our annual THRIVE Week Paint Party! All staff and students are welcome to join us for 2 hours of step-by-step painting. No experience is necessary, and you will take home your very own painted canvas.

The therapeutic benefits of painting are both mental and physical; it helps you to cope with stress you have in your life while you explore your creative side. Owner and Artist of Painting on the Prairies, Amber Van Ma’iingan has been leading paint parties for three and a half years and she will give you all her best tips and tricks so that your painting will turn out it’s best!





Notre Dame Campus
Date: Tuesday, November 6th
Time: 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Location: The Cave Lounge




Exchange District Campus
Date: Wednesday, November 7th
Time: 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Location: Dining Hall, Roblin Centre




Snacks will be provided. Register with Breanna to secure a spot, or just show up (seats are first come first served).

During THRIVE Week we take time to reflect on the role of self-care and balance on developing positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 5-9.

Events and activities provide an opportunity for rest, social connection, physical activity, fun, personal growth, and learning.

The week long series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.

Check out the NDC Thrive Guide and EDC Thrive Guide to see the full slate of activities.

Guide to THRIVE Week Events and Activities!

October 22, 2018

During THRIVE Week we take time to reflect on the role of self-care and balance on developing positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 5-9 at all RRC campuses.

Events and activities provide an opportunity for rest, social connection, physical activity, fun, personal growth, and learning. All students, staff, and faculty members are invited to participate.

Some events to look forward to are:

  • paint night
  • yoga
  • therapy dogs
  • board game night
  • tour of the sweat lodge
  • visit from Rob Nash
  • mindfulness workshop and much more!

Check out the NDC Thrive Guide and EDC Thrive Guide to see the slate of activities.

Subscribe for updates to ensure you receive all THRIVE related information.

The weeklong series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings for September 10 – 16

September 11, 2018

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.


  • Have you ever thought of wellbeing as a skill? Dr. Richard J. Davidson from the Centre for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison breaks down the research around four main contributors to wellbeing: resilience, outlook, attention, and generosity. He argues that if one practices the skills of wellbeing, one will get better at it. The Four Keys to Wellbeing.


  • Curious about the relationship between mental health and exercise? In The Wall Street Journal, Sumathi Reddy  explores a recent study to be published in the Lancet that looks at this association. Are certain types of exercise more beneficial than others? How about certain durations of exercise? Check out The Exercise that Helps Mental Health the Most.

Do you have some favorite reading you’d like featured? Contact Breanna.

Observe World Suicide Prevention Day with RRC

September 4, 2018

Each year, roughly 4000 Canadians die by suicide. Not only are these losses tragic, but each individual who dies by suicide was no doubt connected to a community of people who will experience complex grief. There are family members, colleagues, and friends who are left to sort through intense feelings, sometimes of helplessness, guilt, or pain.

The Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network (WSPN) recognizes that communities like RRC have an important role to play in both preventing suicide and supporting individual and collective healing; we agree. Laureen Janzen (Manager of Counselling and Accessibility Services) and Breanna Sawatzky (Mental Health Coordinator), are WSPN members and have been helping to plan World Suicide Prevention Day 2018. There will be a free public event over the noon hour on September 10th.

As part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative at RRC, we would like to invite staff, students, and faculty to join us in observing this important day. This year’s theme is “Working Together To Prevent Suicide.” Please contact Breanna if you are interested in attending with the RRC group.

The event is about an hour in length and is open to all in the community.

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings for September 3 – 9

September 4, 2018


In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.

  • As we start a new school year with a fresh, empty locker it may be helpful to clean out our mental locker. This means getting rid of ideas, thoughts, and habits that no longer serve us. Gina Biegel and Todd Corbin encourage us to: “(1) keep your mental locker clean, (2) NIP those negative thoughts in the bud, (3) be mentally tough and confident, and (4) use positive self-talk to SPEAK to yourself in kind and confident ways.” Read how in New School Year: Clean Your Mental Locker and Get in the Zone


  • How does one sustain energy, remain creative, and avoid burnout? One crucial contributor is rest. Alex Soojun-Kim Pang and Arianna Huffington outline 10 ways to use rest to your advantage with the goal of sustaining wellbeing and career success. Read How You Can Use Rest as a Tool for Success.


  • Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is launching an innovative study to explore the power of music to treat clinical depression. They hope to use brain imaging and music to improve understanding of the causes of depression, possibly leading to new treatments. Read Harnessing the Healing Power of Music.

Do you have some favorite reading you’d like featured? Contact Breanna.

Walk like a Penguin to prevent falls on ice

January 6, 2015

Did you know that in 2014 we had 8 “Slips and Falls” at RRC?

boy and penguin on iceNot all of those were ice related, but, whether you are at an RRC Campus, or anywhere else, here are a few tips to prevent Slips and Falls on ice.

1. Walk slowly and carefully when you walk across the parking lot to your building
2. Take short, deliberate steps in which the mid-foot strikes the ground first, not the heel
3. Change direction carefully when walking on slippery surfaces
4. Be aware that black ice can look like wet pavement
5. Be cautious of new snow that may be covering icy patches
6. Ensure your footwear has good tread and is appropriate for cold or wet snow
7. Keep your hands free for balance
8. Don’t carry loads where you can’t see where you are walking
9. Watch where you are walking, don’t text and walk at the same time
10. Avoid climbing over snow banks, look for an alternate route to walk
11. Be careful when getting in or out of your vehicle, look for icy patches where you park, face the vehicle, use it for support
12. Use hand rails when available
13. Wipe / shake off snow from your shoes on the mats when you enter the building to avoid getting the floors wet
14. Be aware that stairs and floors may be wet so use caution

Our Grounds staff does a great job in keeping the parking lot and walkways cleared of snow at NDC, but, we live in a difficult climate, and weather conditions do not always make things easy for them. We need to take precautions where ever we go whether at work or somewhere else.

Do not become a statistic this winter. Avoid those Slips and Falls.

If you have any concerns, contact

Sniffing out the problem

June 5, 2014

Did you know that scented products such as hairspray, perfume and deodorant (and there are more) can trigger reactions such as respiratory distress and headaches? These are only some of many health problems scented products can cause. Certain odors, even in the smallest amounts can trigger an attack on some people. Just think what a heavily scented product could do. And just because a product claims to be scent free, it may have masked the scent by the use of an additional chemical.

dog smelling


Ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do you currently wear scented products to work?
2) How often are you bothered by scents at work?
a) Frequently? b) Occasionally? c) Seldom? d) Never?
3) If scents bother you at work, in what way are you bothered?
a) Clothes and/or hair
b) Stinging eyes
c) Coughing
d) Headaches
e) Interferes with work performance
f) Concern for long term health affects
g) Triggers allergies
h) Triggers asthma
4) Would you stop wearing scented products if a family member’s health was affected?
5) Would you be willing to stop wearing scented products to work if you knew it was affecting the health of others around you?

Scented products could be making a co-worker sick and can actually be a health issue that affects their work. If someone can smell your perfume and you are more than an arm’s length away, your scent is too strong.

Red River College is a scent-sensitive workplace and you should limit the use of these products while in our facilities. If you have concerns or are experiencing health symptoms, consider talking to your manager/supervisor or the Health Centre.

To find out what scented products can affect someone and what the side effects are check out this CCOHS site.

How Loud is Too Loud?

November 14, 2013

Do you take your hearing for granted?  Think about your day and what sounds you hear. Whether it’s your alarm going off, the sound of your children laughing, or crying.  Imagine going through one day without hearing those sounds, or any sounds. 

Causes of hearing loss include a buildup of earwax, infections, damage to inner ear, and a ruptured eardrum. Loud sounds can put you at risk for hearing loss.  The level of noise and the length of time you listen to the noise combined can put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise.

Think about loud sounds that you are exposed to on a regular basis.  The average decibel level for a blow dryer can be 80-90 dB.  A gas lawn mower or snow blower decibel levels can be over 100 dB.  Can you imagine what the noise level at a Rock concert could be?  These sounds are loud enough to damage hearing over time.  Prolonged sounds that are louder than 85 dB has the potential to cause permanent hearing loss.

The good news is, hearing loss is preventable.  Wear ear protection if you know you are going to be exposed to loud sounds for more than a few minutes.  There is a wide variety of hearing protection you can use; ear plugs (preformed or foam), ear muffs, or canal caps. 

Hearing Protection

Hearing is a precious thing, so don’t take it for granted.  Consider what loud sounds you are exposed to every day for long periods of time.  Consider the consequences.  Please take care of your hearing. 

For more information contact

Try out these hearing tests, they won’t take long.

Cool Hearing Test

Mosquito Sound Test – Test Your Ears!

How Old Are Your Ears?

Flintstones Hearing Loss


Monday Mash – Wellness Links, October 21

October 21, 2013

Welcome to another Monday – a Monday that happens to be smack-dab in the middle of your summer and winter vacations. You’re likely sitting at a desk right now in some type of office or work space; and, I would venture to guess, not feeling all that well at the moment.

Did you know that it’s possible to feel great when you’re in your work space? Are you aware of how your surroundings can contribute to your wellness while you’re working or studying? Check out this Monday Mash of links and you’ll be thrilled to realize it’s as easy as adding some plants and music to your office!

Research continues to prove that indoor plants have many health benefits. Keep some greenery nearby while you work and you just may find yourself with fewer headaches, less stress, and even softer skin! For the scientifically savvy, you can read case studies and advice from the pros at If you’re not a green thumb but you want to breathe easier (quite literally!), find some simple tips and an A to Z guide to the easiest, cheapest, or coolest houseplants for you to try in your office or study space. Why not find a way to literally stop and smell the roses?

Whether you think listening to music is a distraction or a motivator, there are definitely some reasons to tune in and tune up your mental health while you work! Find blog posts, research studies, and surveys resulting from a doctoral thesis on Music at Work. When you’re convinced, do your own research at – simply browse through an era or genre of music that you love, or let the Music Concierge find that perfect playlist for the time of day or your particular mood. Then watch your productivity skyrocket like Miley Cyrus’ infamy and bank account!

Have a happy (& healthy) Monday, plant and music lovers!

Radon Gas

October 3, 2013

Just what is Radon gas? Radon is a gas produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks that occurs naturally in the environment.

When radon gas escapes from the ground outdoors it gets diluted and does not pose a health risk. But in confined spaces; like your home, radon can accumulate to relatively high levels and become a health hazard.

Did you know that Radon exposure is linked to roughly 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking?   Long term exposure to high levels of radon in the home may increase the risk of developing lung cancer.  If you smoke, the combination of smoking and exposure to radon can significantly increase the risk of lung cancer.

So, are you wondering how Radon gas can get into your home?

  • it can seep into a home through dirt floors, cracks in foundation and floors, sumps, gaps around pipes, basement drains
  • it moves easily through concrete-block walls because they are so porous
  • Radon trapped in water from wells can be released into the air when the water is used. Note, the health risk is not from ingestion but from the radon inhalation.

Of course, there is nothing plain and simple when it comes to Radon.

  • you can’t see, smell, or taste it
  • it’s concentrations fluctuate seasonally
  • it’s concentrations are usually higher in winter than in summer
  • it’s concentrations are usually higher at night than during the day
  • concentration levels will vary from one house to another, even if they are similar and next door to each other
  • generally, radon levels are highest in the basement but occasionally higher levels can be found on other floors

Radon Gas detectorThe only way to know if you have a radon problem is to test your home.  Home kits are available at local hardware stores.  Health Canada recommends that houses be tested for a minimum of 3 months, ideally during the winter (October to April) when windows and doors are typically kept closed.

Here are some links on Radon but there are many more.

Health Canada  Manitoba Health