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Healthy Minds Healthy College

News and Events

Better Mental Health Through Digital Therapy

October 11, 2021

For so many of us, mental health is an important topic. Every day, conversations related to mindfulness or self-care come up.

There are no quick fixes to our mental health, and some of us feel overwhelmed, like we’ve lost control of things; others simply can’t shake feeling down. These are issues that many students deal with every day. But the good news is that there’s help available with MindBeacon digital therapy – available to Red River College students at no cost with referral.

MindBeacon can empower you

Designed to improve your mental health and build your resilience to life’s challenges, MindBeacon provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or CBT), an evidence-based form of psychological therapy.  Tis form of therapy is often considered the gold standard when it comes to helping people with mild to moderate depression, insomnia, or anxiety.

How CBT works

The premise behind CBT is that, with regular practice and guidance, we can manage the distressing thoughts and behaviours that come along with stressful, challenging situations – in a way that positively impacts our lives. It can be difficult at first, but with commitment to therapy, you can see your resilience grow.

Therapy on your terms

You use MindBeacon wherever and whenever you choose – all on your phone, tablet, or computer – with no appointments to keep. And your therapy is guided by a registered mental health professional, to help you develop crucial lifelong coping skills.

To get started, connect with any of the following:

Students attending a regional campus may contact an Academic Success Coach at their campus.

Staff who are interested in MindBeacon should inquire about extended health plan coverage. Many of our employee benefit packages do cover these services, since they’re provided by registered social workers or psychologists.

This service enhancement aligns with the Healthy Minds Healthy College strategic priority to improve access to mental health services, using innovation. If you have questions please contact Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator.

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.

Live and On-Demand Yoga for Staff and Students

September 21, 2021

If you find yourself sitting too much these days, you;re not alone. How about breathing? Are you remembering to do that? Thankfully, Holly Pluchinski is back this fall, helping RRC students and staff relieve stress and find balance through yoga. Holly teaches two weekly 30 minute livestreamed yoga classes just for us.

Yoga is a fantastic way to connect mind, body, and spirit while giving yourself the mindful movement you crave. As we all do what we can to cope with change and uncertainty, a regular yoga practice can take the edge off all of that stress.

Book the time in your calendar and do something good for yourself.

Date: Fridays
Time: Noon – 12:30pm

Date: Tuesdays
Time: Noon – 12:30pm
Classes take place on WebEx. New weekly registration links can be found every Monday in your Staff News or Student News emails.

Participants will be able to see Holly demonstrate, however participants themselves will not be visible to others. The class is suitable for all ability levels.

You don’t need fancy equipment, or the perfect setting — just the desire to tune in and move.

In addition to the live weekly sessions, below are three recorded classes that are available for on-demand viewing. Each is roughly 20 minutes long and focuses on a different goal. Try each one and see how you feel.

Questions can be directed to Breanna Sawatzky.

Wellness Through Music, with the Manitoba Conservatory for Music and Arts

September 21, 2021

Music is an excellent wellness tool. Whether you put on some music to shift your mood, express yourself by making music, or learn a new musical skill – the emotional and spiritual power of music can’t be denied. While we work and study, it’s still important to take meaningful breaks, giving our bodies and minds a chance to recharge.

Music Workshop Series

For these reasons we’re happy to invite staff and students to a series of Thrive events centred around music and delivered by the Manitoba Conservatory for Music and Arts.

Registration for each workshop opens two weeks in advance. After registering, you will receive a Zoom link to join the event. All workshops run 6-7pm on a Wednesday. There is no cost to attend and you do not require your own instrument.

September 22: Feel the Beat

Tap your feet, clap your hands and break out the pots and pans as you learn how to tell an exciting story through percussion soundscapes. Facilitated by Caroline Bucher. Register here.

October 20: Songwriting Collaboration

Participate in the creation of brand new music! Tune in to observe, provide your creative input toward lyrics and melodies, help improvise or vote on song ideas. We will use Garage Band to create a new music composition on the spot. Facilitated by Lindsey White.

November 17: Improvisation

Music improvisation uses music patterns and concepts to create free form and stylistic new arrangements. Learn how to take your music knowledge and add your personal expressions to create a new arrangement. Facilitated by Carter Graham.

December 8: Song Sharing

What are some of your most loved songs and why? Bring a favourite song to this “round table” session and we will listen, discuss the artist, structure and meaning. You are welcome and encouraged to play your song using an instrument, or find a recorded version (whatever your preference). Let’s talk about what makes this music great! Facilitated by Lindsey White.


Building Habits for Success: A New Online Workshop Series

September 14, 2021

Have you ever tried to build a new wellness habit? Perhaps you’ve tried to drink more water, or get outside more often. Many of us know the kinds of things we need to do in order to be healthy, yet without support and other effective strategies, we often struggle to make these habits stick.

In this 6-week wellness workshop series, you won’t just listen to someone talk about good habits, you’ll create personally meaningful, realistic plans to make gradual changes over time— changes that will improve your personal wellness and your ability to complete a challenging program and succeed in your career. You’ll also interact with others who are building healthy habits, giving and receiving support and encouragement.

All RRC students and staff are welcome to attend.

Topics covered include:

  • Creating daily routines;
  • Setting goals;
  • Using checklists;
  • Keeping track; and
  • More!

Your Facilitator

All sessions will be facilitated by Dan Saltel. Dan is an instructor in RRC’s Business Technology Management program and is passionate about both the importance of wellness and the value of habit building strategies. Dan has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science as well as a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Science in community health sciences.

The Details

Date: Six Tuesdays from October 5 – November 9

Time: 7-8pm

Platform: MS Teams

For questions or to register, please email Breanna Sawatzky.

Each session will include a door prize draw for a $25 gift card. In addition, each person who registers and attends the first session will receive a brand new notebook to help them on their success journey.



Movies for Mental Health: Join us Vitually

September 14, 2021

On October 7 RRC is hosting Movies for Mental Health, a virtual workshop that uses the power of film to unite folks in community, connection, and conversation. This FREE event is delivered by a non-profit called Art With Impact and will be hosted online.

The interactive experience will feature a chat-based discussion on mental health, the stigma that frequently surrounds mental illness, and media portrayals of mental health issues.

Following this will be a live screening of three award-winning short films and therapeutic activities to consciously connect minds and bodies.

The event will culminate in a panel of lived-experience speakers and mental health resources, empowering us to share our own stories and access support available to us in these uncertain times.

RRC students who attend and complete the post-event survey will be able to enter to win a prize! The winner of the prize draw will be able to choose between:

– One 90 minute float at Float.Calm (a $69 value), OR

– A $50 gift card to GoodLocal

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.

The Details

Date: Thursday, October 7

Time: 11:30-1:30 pm

Location: Online! Register here.

For any questions or accessibility needs, please contact Breanna.

This event is sponsored by Healthy Minds Healthy College and RRC Students’ Association. All students and staff are welcome.

World Suicide Prevention Day: Creating Hope Through Action

September 7, 2021

World Suicide Prevention Day is a time to connect and reflect. Every year on September 10th, people in over 50 countries recognize this day.

World Suicide Prevention Day is a chance for everyone to join in promoting understanding about suicide: those impacted by a suicide attempt or loss, family and friends, workplaces, professionals, post-secondary institutions, students and community members.

Every year, 160 million people worldwide contemplate suicide and, tragically, 800,000 of them die by suicide. This means that more than 159 million people survive suicide-related crises every year. There is no reason that anyone has to die by suicide and, if we all do our part, we can prevent those deaths that do happen and the devastating impact that they have.

Virtual Speaker Series

This year, the Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network (of which RRC is a member), is hosting a virtual speaker series on the theme of Creating Hope Through Action. Talks will take place at noon on Thursdays.

Noon on Thursday, September 9 – Kevin Lamoureux

In this session our special guest Kevin Lamoureux will focus on suicide prevention through the lens of social justice. Many young people find themselves struggling to overcome oppression and injustices that have sometimes impacted families and communities across generations. Every young person that finds themselves without hope is a failing of justice and equity, not a failing of the child. Grounded within the framework provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, this session will honour the care adults who work on behalf of young people to create lasting and meaningful change.

Zoom Link:

Noon on Thursday, September 16 – Buddy Up

Our special guest Akash Asif will share information about the Buddy Up campaign. An initiative of the Centre for Suicide Prevention, Buddy Up is a men’s suicide prevention communication campaign: a call to action for men, by men. With the help of Champions across Canada, Buddy Up works to promote authentic conversations among men and their buddies.


Noon on Thursday, September 23 – is Canada’s only charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health. Jack Talks are mental health presentations delivered by young people to young people. Trained and certified youth speakers use the power of personal stories and mental health education to inspire, engage, educate, and equip young people to look out for themselves and their peers.

Zoom Link:

Noon on Thursday, September 30 – WE MATTER

Indigenous youth deserve to see themselves succeeding and thriving, and know that no matter what they may go through there is always a way forward. We Matter presenter Autumn LaRose Smith and a special guest Youth Ambassador will discuss why We Matter was created, Indigenous life promotion focusing on hope, culture and strength, and will share with you the resources and activities We Matter offers to support indigenous youth.

Zoom Link.

What Individuals Can Do To Help

Although it can be scary to talk about suicide, each of us can take action to support someone who is struggling.

  1. Check in with them regularly to see how they are doing;
  2. Listen supportively to what they have to say;
  3. Remember that you don’t have to have all the answers;
  4. Know and introduce them to resources in their area, if they need additional support;
  5. Be prepared to assist them in finding information, but don’t take over as that may reinforce their sense of helplessness.

Local Resources

RRC students who are having thoughts of suicide are encouraged to connect with Student Counselling Services. Professional counsellors provide free and confidential support around the topic of suicide and other problems or crises. Appointments can take place over the phone, via videoconferencing or in person (as available).

Staff and faculty members are encouraged to connect with RRC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program, Homewood Health for free and confidential support.

All community members can also call the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line or visit the Crisis Response Centre at 817 Bannatyne in Winnipeg. For resources outside of Winnipeg, please find your health region here.

Remember, through action we can create hope.


Connect With Others — And Meet all the Precious Pets

September 7, 2021

Long days of studying or working can be isolating and monotonous. Thankfully, many of us have pets we love who force us to smile, relax and take a little break. On September 13, you’re invited to pick up your pet, hop on WebEx and meet all the RRC pets!

During this lightly facilitated session, participants will be invited to introduce their own pet and tell us what you love about them.

Don’t have a pet, but still love to meet others’ precious pals? No problem. Join anyway and take part in the virtual meet-and-greet.

The Details

Date: Monday, September 13

Time: 11-11:30am

Platform: WebEx

Register here.

THRIVE events encourage balance and self-care that in turn support good mental health. All THRIVE events are offered in partnership with the RRCSA at no charge to participants and are open to staff, students, and faculty.

Watch your student or staff news and this blog for invitations to more THIRVE activities, including music workshops, cooking lessons, wellness workshops, yoga classes and more.

Begin the Term With Balance and Creativity: Join Paint Night

September 7, 2021

As we launch into a new term, it’s important to set patterns around how you plan to maintain your well-being and find balance amidst the deadlines and demands. That’s why RRC offers a series of THRIVE wellness activities throughout the year. One way to find some balance and manage stress is to engaging in art-based creativity.

This Thursday, Kisa MacIsaac, RRC grad and owner of Power of Painting, will (virtually) lead you through an evening of self-care as you create your very own painting.

THRIVE events encourage balance and self-care that in turn support good mental health. All THRIVE events are offered in partnership with the RRCSA at no charge to participants and are open to staff, students, and faculty.

The Details

Date: Thursday, September 9

Time: 6-8 pm

Platform: WebEx

Register here.

There’s ample evidence that taking time to express yourself through creativity in a social group improves mental health and overall well-being. Don’t miss this chance to make yourself a priority.

Watch your student or staff news and this blog for invitations to more THIRVE activities, including music workshops, cooking lessons, wellness workshops, yoga classes and more.

A portrait of Kisa MacIsaacMore on the Instructor

Kisa MacIsaac (she/her) is Métis, a mother, artist, educator, and a RRC graduate (ECE diploma 2005). She works in a non profit early learning and child care program in Winnipeg’s inner city, and leads wellness painting events as well as creating custom artworks. Making art is medicine – it has the power reduce stress and anxiety, it is relaxing. Everyone can make art, it’s all about letting go of fear and just creating and going with the flow!
Check out: Power of Painting – Workshops and Art by Kisa
IG: @powerofpainting204