RRC students say they don’t have time to participate in mental health week


The Yoga Fusion event took place on the Thursday of THRIVE Week at the Exchange District Campus./ STEPHANIE EHMANN

While a recent mental health initiative brought things like yoga, wellness kits and therapy dogs to students at Red River College, this semester’s THRIVE Week events went largely unattended.

Some students said it’s because they just don’t have the extra time to devote to mental health activities.

“I hardly have enough time to get [school] stuff done,” said Civil Engineering Technology student Brendan Firman, 20. “No one has time when they are super stressed already. You expect them to put down what they’re doing and procrastinate even further.”

From Nov. 5 to Nov. 9, the Red River College Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative hosted a series of events to promote a positive attitude towards mental health. THRIVE Week consisted of one to four events each day at the Notre Dame and Roblin Centre campuses.

The THRIVE events are organized to reduce school and work stress. The events are planned with either a psychological, emotional, spiritual or physical element in mind, and include laughter yoga, zen zone and therapy dogs. Despite the wide range of events and activities planned, they all remained empty or practically empty with one to three participants.

Some students said they hadn’t heard of THRIVE Week, or had only heard of it in passing.

“I just go to class and then once class is all done for the day, I go home,” said plumbing student Justin Goertzen, 20.

(From left) Kelton Lynch (20) Samantha Stevenson (21) and Sarah Thiessen (20) search through their Wellness Kits from the Student’s Association, at the Roblin Centre Campus./ STEPHANIE EHMANN

According to a 2014 report on perceived life stress from Statistics Canada, 23 per cent of people 15 and older say each day is quite a bit or extremely stressful. It’s not that students don’t care about their mental health – it’s that they don’t have the time to focus on it.

For students who were unable to fit THRIVE Week into their schedules, the college also offers another resource for mental health services: the Red River ReliefLine.

Using a smart phone or computer, students can access 24/7 support from trained professionals who are there to connect and listen through the ReliefLine. For more information, visit rrc.ca/ReliefLine.