Mental Health Awareness Activities for Winter 2020 Semester

With a busy new semester, months of cold weather, and the stressors of daily life, you might find yourself struggling to cope with it all. This is normal, it happens. The Mental Health and Counselling department doesn’t want you to struggle alone. We’re here to talk to. If making an appointment to speak with a counsellor sounds a bit scary, or like too much of a commitment, that’s ok- we have other options to help you manage!

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My personal goal as Mental Health Programmer at MHC, is to help each student feel connected, and like they are a part of a community. College can be a lonely place, and it can be hard to reach out. The activities that we offer aim to increase self-awareness, and build-up your support system. They are mostly drop-in, so there isn’t the pressure of committing your time each week (but please keep coming back if you enjoy it, we’d love to have you)!

 Please stop in to one of our groups, or to the counselling department if you find you are needing a little extra support. We have comfy couches, a fire place, TV, and free coffee/tea/hot chocolate!

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CBT Self-Help Drop In [Mondays / 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. / C225]
Students work independently on cognitive behavioural therapy work sheets, with counselling staff support. Topics include distorted thinking, anger, communication, healthy relationships, and more. This drop-in time is ideal for students who have identified a particular area of work that they would like to focus on. Students are also encouraged to come explore different topics to learn more about themselves.   

30 Minute drop-in counselling sessions [Mondays and Thursdays / 1 – 3:30 p.m. / C233]
First come, first serve. No appointment necessary.

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Knitting Group [Tuesdays / 1:30 – 3 p.m. / Front lounge area in the Vera Bracken Library]
Two wonderful ladies from the Medicine Hat community have volunteered their time to teach students how to knit while they also informally offering mental health support. We will be working together to make a blanket that will be donated at the end of the semester. All materials provided. No experience necessary. (Crocheters also welcome but must bring own supplies).  

Animal Therapy [Wednesdays / 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. / Front lounge area in the Vera Bracken Library]
Miss your own dog? Wish you had a dog to cuddle? Drop- in to interact with Rocky and Louie to decrease stress and build connections.

Creative Minds Group
Starting in February, time and date TBD. This group will consist of creative writing, painting, drawing, etc. and focus on maintaining mental wellness. Students must register for group. Please email
lareshenkoff@mhc.ab.ca or kmills@mhc.ab.ca if you are interested in attending.  

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The Inquiring Mind
This course is designed to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. The session is three and a half hours and consists of mental health and illness on campus, stigma and discrimination on campus, warning signs, self-care, creating a supportive campus, and practical application. Students must register for session, please e-mail
lareshenkoff@mhc.ab.ca if you are interested in attending. Time and date TBD.

Remember- you don’t have to be in crisis to start taking care of your mental health, make it part of your daily routine. We often hear about “self-care” and how you “NEED TO BE DOING SELF-CARE!!!!”. What does that even mean? Well… these groups/activities are a great place to start!

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If you are wanting to book an appointment with one of our counsellors, it’s quite easy. Simply stop by the advising desk, or call 403.529.3819. You’ll be set up with a quick 30-minute screening to ensure that individual counselling is the best fit for you, and then you’ll be set up with the appropriate service for your needs.

I am looking forward to meeting you all this semester!

Bell Let’s Talk Day – A Springboard for Mental Health Awareness

bellletstalkThere’s no doubt about it – talking about mental health can be hard! Sometimes unsure of where to start or what to say, people take the easiest road out and say nothing at all. Luckily, there’s an easy way to start changing this unfortunate turn of events and it’s all thanks to Bell Let’s Talk Day – happening this Wednesday, January 30th, 2019!

With the advent of Bell Let’s Talk Day in 2011, we’ve been able to open the doors to an easy conversation all about mental health. And, while talking about mental health is what Bell Let’s Talk is all about, it begs the question of how do we keep the momentum going year round?

Fortunately, with this year’s poster, Bell has us covered once again! Keep reading to discover how you can #endthestigma!

bellelts

“Get Help.” Bell Let’s Talk, letstalk.bell.ca/en/get-help. Accessed January 28, 2019.

 

1. Language Matters – Take a minute and reflect on what your word choices are. Is there a better way to say something than “crazy?” Words can hurt, be mindful of your choices!

2. Be Kind – Everyone can be fighting a hard battle, and we may not get to know what that battle is. So be kind to others and to yourself.

3. Educate Yourself – There’s a lot of information out there about mental health and mental illness. Sleuth through it and get the facts so you can go forward, armed with knowledge!

4. Listen and Ask – Did you know that we can all talk about mental health? All we have to do is ask non-judgemental questions and actively listen to those around us. Mind blowing isn’t it? ;D

5. Talk About It – Now that you’re following all the other 4 steps as outlined above, it’s time to really break down the stigma and talk about what’s going on with your mental health. Be an advocate. Get out there and let the truth be known – we all have struggles, we all have mental health and we can all make a difference by joining the conversation!