Red Deer College is encouraging students to start an online conversation through Make Some Time, starting Jan. 22nd, on how they maintain a healthy balance.
The week will be packed with all kinds of activities and special events to encourage students to build a balanced, healthy schedule in their lives.
“Red Deer College offers several programs and activities that help complement students’ busy academic schedules. Campus Recreation hosts a variety of activities and the RDC Students’ Association plans a lot of fun events including several mental health initiatives throughout the year that contribute to a well-rounded college experience,” said Steve Lane, associate vice-president academic, research and student affairs.
“RDC offers resources and services to students that support their mental health. The Counselling and Career Centre provides free resources to those who want help in creating a balanced life schedule and finding healthy ways to manage the challenges.”
From Jan. 22nd to 27th, RDC students will have the opportunity to discuss methods of coping with stress using the hashtag #MakeSomeTimeRDC on RDC social media.
“It’s one of those collaborative events where a number of people will be involved,” said Lane of the week’s activities. “It also culminates with some athletics at the end of the week to try and help ‘make some noise’ in order to try and help stigmatize mental health (issues) and that type of thing,” he added.
“That’s the overall goal, to try and put together a week of events and activities that help to make people more willing to speak out or seek help and to try and raise awareness around mental health for everybody. It’s also about creating an environment where those who are suffering from anxiety or depression can reveal that to someone and seek some help.”
The timing of the event is key as well, with that post-Christmas slump and darkened winter days often exacerbating ‘the blues’, he said.
Various prizes will be awarded for sharing these thoughts throughout the week. This is a Red Deer College campaign and will lead into the RBC sponsored Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) campaign, ‘Make Some Noise for Mental Health’, on Jan. 27th.
As mentioned, a week of activities will be planned to help raise awareness, and each day that students use the hashtag, they will be entered for a chance to win the daily prize.
On Jan. 22nd, the campaign kick-off runs in the Red Deer Bottling Forum from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be a photo booth with props, cotton candy, popcorn, self-care water bottles and self-care information, plus a nap room all week from noon to 2 p.m. (excluding Friday) in the Living Room.
On Jan. 23rd there will be a Campus Rec Music Mixer at the Donald School of Business downtown. Activities will include mug decorating, crafts, games and live music from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Jan. 24th, there will be guided meditation and activities in the Red Deer Bottling Forum at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. (about 10 minutes long).
There will also be mug decorating, coloring therapy, and ‘take what you need’ boards in the Forum.
‘Movies for Mental Health’ runs at the Welikoklad Event Centre Jan. 24th, which features four short films, and a panel of speakers including two students who will share their mental health journey. There will also be pizza and beverages which will be provided free of cost.
On Jan. 25th, there will be nutrition tables and therapy dogs at the RDC residence. Nutritious snacks will be provided starting at 8 a.m. and therapy dogs will be in the Residence Tower hallways from noon to 2 p.m.
On Jan. 26th there will be Disney movies and snacks in the living room from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. including movies, fort building and snacks.
On Jan. 27th, ‘Make Some Noise for Mental Health is running. Make Some Noise for Mental Health is an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) campaign to promote mental health awareness on campuses. RBC is a presenting partner, and the campaign is endorsed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Alberta.
Folks are also invited to enjoy some exciting RDC volleyball and basketball action while showing their support for mental health initiatives as well.
Register online for a chance to win a $250 gift card to the Campus Store provided by RBC, who will choose the winner after the event. RBC will provide pizza prizes for select attendees during the basketball games in the RDC Main Gym.
‘We have a lot of young people who are moving from adolescence into adulthood, and there is a lot of change going on and a lot of things coming at them,” said Lane.