RRC staff and students pleased with Counselling and Accessibility Services

By: Emmalee Blackadar

As the first semester comes to an end, some students are making good use of the resources provided by Counselling and Accessibility Services on campus. 

Mental illness can affect anyone. Make sure to reach out if you need help./WILLIAM KLIPPENSTEIN

“I have had no issues whatsoever booking appointments so far,” said Nelson Keep, a Digital Media Design student at the Exchange District Campus. “They’ve been incredibly helpful and professional.”

Currently, the Exchange District Campus (EDC) has two counsellors on staff, and the Notre Dame Campus (NDC) has five counsellors and a few nurses on staff. The college plans to bring nurses to EDC in the future, said Laureen Janzen, manager at Counselling and Accessibility Services.

“It’s our mandate to assist students to be successful in meeting their academic goals,” said Janzen. “We understand that mental wellness is a big part of this.” 

Janzen said October and November are often the busiest months for the counsellors as this is often the “crunch” period for students as the semester is coming to a close. 

“My sessions have been a great way to clear my head and get my thoughts back in order,” said Keep. “I look forward to them.” 

Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all year round. Students can book appointments for many reasons: schoolwork, stress, anxiety, depression, or for whatever else they need support. 

“My experience was very positive,” said Keep. “The counsellor I ended up with is really kind, attentive and empathetic, and seems legitimately interested in what I have to say.” 

Isaak Johnston has taken advantage of the services available on campus.

“The sessions were helpful, kind of put lots of things in a different light,” says Johnston, a Digital Media Design student. “[The sessions] made every day a bit more positive.”

The counsellors try their best to meet the needs presented to them by students, said Janzen. 

Students that need to make an appointment can do so either online on the Red River College’s counselling page, or in person at the administration desk at P210 at EDC and D102 at NDC. 

Plans for the future of the Counselling and Accessibility Services include bringing more counsellors on staff, hiring a psychiatrist, working closely with community resources, and introducing a drop-in service, Janzen said. 

Renovations of the EDC’s Counselling and Accessibility Services happened over this past summer. Staff are anticipating an influx of new students from the new Innovative Centre opening across the street.