By: Cameron Eason

The fall term is coming to an end and many students are starting to feel the pressure.

College is very rewarding in the long term, but students caught up in the midst of final exams and heaps of assignments due can become stressed out.

Mental health is important to succeed at a post-secondary education, and managing it can be a challenge.

Stress – we all feel it, some people more than others. It’s easy to become consumed by it. It’s common knowledge that a healthy diet and exercise are important factors when it comes to one’s mental health, but in the heat of the end of the term, it can be difficult for students to fit those things into their schedules.

Last week, The Red River College Students’ Association and the Healthy College Healthy Minds initiative held THRIVE Week. THRIVE is a week-long event designed to have activities to allow students to combat stress and anxiety.

“We know that it’s important to practice self-care in four main areas: physical activity; social connection; self-expression; and relaxation,” said Breanna Sawatzky, Red River College’s Mental Health Coordinator. “We have planned activities that touch on each of these areas to help students and staff develop good self-care habits that will support them to reach their goals.”

THRIVE Week was comprised of a paint night, meditation and yoga, public speakers, music, therapy dogs and Mental Health First Aid Training, to name a few. The therapy dogs were available to students last Monday, and were quite popular, with 120 students participating at The Roblin Centre, as well as 288 at the Notre Dame Campus.

This is the second year that the Students’ Association has partnered with the college for THRIVE Week. Prior to that, the Student’s Association held Mental Health Awareness Week.

However, for some students, stress and anxiety can be a much bigger issue than it is for others. There are places to contact in these cases, like the Anxiety Disorder Association of Manitoba (ADAM).

“We help students year-round,” said Sangeetha Nair, Communications Coordinator for ADAM. “Anxiety disorders affect approximately 12% of the Canadian population in any given year.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 28 (GivingTuesday), ADAM will be holding an 8-hour relaxation “Marathon to Overcome Anxiety” from 9 pm to 5 pm.

ADAM said in a news release that the fundraiser aims to give back to the community by teaching people various mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

“At our relaxation marathon, we provide a safe, relaxing environment where people can learn simple techniques that they can practice at home,” said ADAM.

Students having any of these issues or more should consider consulting student support services.