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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.

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings

October 1, 2019

 

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.

Food and Mood

Ever wonder if a certain eating pattern is best for your mental health? When we make everyday food choices, many of us think first of our physical health and appearance. But there’s another factor we may want to consider in picking foods: their impact on our mental health. Read What Is The Best Diet for Mental Health by Kira M. Newman.

Creative Hobbies

If you’ve been trying to get a little more mindfulness in your life, whipping up a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies might be exactly what you need. Read more about how Research Suggests Taking Up Baking Can Help You Feel Better by Gwen Moran.

Stress and Memory

You spend weeks studying for an important test. On the big day, you wait nervously as your teacher hands it out. You’re working your way through, when you’re asked to define “ataraxia.” You know you’ve seen the word before, but your mind goes blank. What just happened? Elizabeth Cox details the complex relationship between stress and memory in her Ted-Ed animation: The Surprising Link Between Stress and Memory.

 

Have a favorite health and wellness related read that you think we should feature? Send it over to Breanna.

Climate change and mental health: the intersections

September 24, 2019

With the upcoming General Strike for Climate Action happening at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday, September 27th, climate change is top of mind for many people. RRC’s Sustainability Office is marking the occasion in several ways.

Given this timing, it’s fitting to examine how mental health and climate change are connected. Once we take a look, there are indeed several ways that climate change affects mental health.

First, natural disasters place increased strain on people living in areas affected by droughts, floods, forest fires, hurricanes and the like. The trauma caused by these events increases risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While not everyone exposed to the trauma develops a disorder, when a whole community is affected by such a disaster, there will certainly be an increased demand for mental health services and a disruption to the community as a whole.

In addition, many people experience climate change related grief in response to experienced or anticipated loss of natural environments. Lakes, land, forests, and other natural environments help us develop a sense of place and are key settings in which we build good mental health. The grief related to losing these is very real and impacts a person’s well-being.

Yet another way in which climate change affects mental health is through climate anxiety: worry and fear related to the consequences of climate change. Many people can be concerned, even very concerned, about climate change while still functioning well in their lives. For some, however, this anxiety can become intense and lead to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, intense anger, inability to continue with daily activities and even thoughts of suicide.

If you are feeling this extreme form of climate anxiety, please reach out for support. Students can connect with RRC Counselling Services or use the student benefits plan to connect with a therapist in the community. Staff can reach out to our Employee and Family Assistance Program.

For anyone whose mental health is affected by climate change, it can be helpful to participate in direct positive action and to be around others who understand your concerns. So, check out the activities that the Sustainability Office has planned and get involved.

References:

Lewis, J. (2018). In the Room With Climate Anxiety PART 1. Psychiatric Times, 35(11), 1–2.

Focus on climate change and mental health. (2018). Nature Climate Change,(4), 259-259. 

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

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings

August 27, 2019

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.

Making Friends

NPR notes that the act of making and being a friend is as simple as it is difficult. They spoke with experts to help find ways to make new friends, as well as to take better care of the friendships you already have. Read Accept The Awkwardness: How To Make Friends by Julia Furlan.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Are you trying to save money on food? Get the school year off to a healthy start by planning your meals for the next few days or week ahead. It takes a bit of time, but it will help you save money later. The Dieticians of Canada has Ten Tips for Planning Meals on a Budget.

Dealing with Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can feel terrifying in the moment. Managing your thoughts and behaviours can go along way toward reducing the frequency and intensity of panic symptoms as well as how much they interfere with your life. Over on the Anxiety Canada blog, Dr. Melanie Badali shares 5 Tips for Dealing with Panic Attacks – The BRAVE Way.

 

Observe World Suicide Prevention Day With RRC

August 23, 2019

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 2019. 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 “Be Someone’s Rock.” Please contact Breanna if you are interested in attending with the RRC group.

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.

Ride Don’t Hide

June 25, 2019

RRC’s 2019 Ride Don’t Hide Team, post-ride at The Forks

On Sunday, June 23 a team of RRC staff and students, along with some family members, supported Canadian Mental Health Association by participating in Ride Don’t Hide – Canada’s largest mental health bike ride.

The team enjoyed a beautiful 20 km ride, beginning at The Forks and continuing through St. Boniface, Assiniboine Ave., Wolseley, River Heights, Tuxedo, Crescentwood and back along the river path to The Forks.

Sponsored by RRC’s Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, the team raised funds and awareness, bringing mental health out into the open.

Three cheers for your RRC team members:

  • Angela Tessier (and partner Tom)
  • Michelle Lodewyks (and partner Josh)
  • Tom Liu
  • Leslie Ternowetsky
  • Breanna Sawatzky (with family Joel, Vincent and Nevica)
  • Sherry Seymour
  • Tanya Cole
  • Lori Cutrone (not pictured)
  • Nicki Albus (not pictured)

Across Canada, over 10 000 riders participated, raising over $2 million dollars for community based mental health supports. Go team!

She Wore Flowers in Her Hair 2019: Happening Saturday, June 8th!

June 4, 2019

She Wore Flowers in Her Hair is an event in support of mental health awareness in memory of Jaedra Winter who died by suicide in June 2015. The aim is to raise awareness, spread love & create a community where people feel safe talking about mental health. All proceeds go to Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.

The event takes place at Kelburn Estate and starts at noon on Saturday, June 8th. Pre activities such as Bootcamp by Johana Seier and a Volleyball tournament will commence at 11:00 am. Pre registration for these events is 10:30 AM – 11:00 am.

Bring a lawn chair, cash, Picnic blanket, yoga mat, sunscreen, etc.

Activities include:
Live Bands
Inspirational Speakers
Flower Crown Workshop ($5)
Craft Table
Self Care Booth – come make your own self care bag with goodies! (FREE)
Therapy Puppies
Pony Rides
Silent Auction
Makers Market
SWF Merch, Pop, Chips, Cotton Candy on sale!
Lunch by Pony Corral (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, FREE)
Laughter Yoga
Yoga by Modo Yoga
Meditation
Closest to the Pin Gold Competition with prize
Axe Throwing by Lumberjax
Card Readings
Photobooth by Photomonkey
AND MUCH MORE!

Tickets are on sale now
http://weblink.donorperfect.com/sheworeflowers2019

Follow She Wore Flowers in Her Hair on Instagram @officialsheworeflowers
& Facebook, for more information.