Red Deer College is encouraging students to start an online conversation about mental health.
Learners are invited to engage in a week of activities through Make Some Time starting Monday, and they can share positive ways to achieve a healthy life balance.
Officials point out Red Deer College offers a wide range of resources and services to students that support their mental health, and activities that help complement their busy academic schedules.
“Student mental well-being is becoming more and more of a priority at all levels of the College,” said Steve Lane, Associate Vice-President Academic, Research and Student Affairs.
“The Counselling & Career Centre provides free resources to those who want help in creating a balanced schedule and finding healthy ways to manage the challenges. There are also a number of events and activities coordinated between the Students’ Association, Counselling & Career Centre, Student Ambassadors in Student Life, Health and Wellness office, and other departments and programs.”
Matt Hope of Kings Cross Country Running sees Make Some Time as a perfect opportunity for RDC students to increase awareness about mental health.
“Stigma is still a barrier for people reaching out about their mental health struggles although the stigma is decreasing, which is really encouraging,” says Hope, a 2018 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross Country Running bronze medallist and All-Canadian. “The more we can talk about mental health, the better we can get at recognizing when we might need help because feeling unhealthy can be a very slow and gradual process.”
With a busy academic schedule, Hope finds his sporting endeavours offset the demands. “My main stresses come from school workload. It can be hard to balance studies with sports at times but I find athletics to be a nice stress reliever to the busy school day,” he says. “I feel the key to sport, academics and life, is knowing when to push yourself to get things done, and when to let yourself have a break. To achieve this, being flexible with your schedule is important.”
From January 21 to 25, RDC students will have the opportunity to discuss positive methods of coping with stress using the hashtag #MakeSomeTimeRDC on RDC social media for the chance to win a self-care basket. By attending the on-campus activities throughout the week, participants can enter a draw at each event for an opportunity to win the grand prize, which is a tuition credit equivalent to $380.25. The draw will take place at halftime of the Kings Basketball game on January 25.
Make Some Time 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 January 25.
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