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The University of Regina reinforces its commitment to mental wellness on Bell Let’s Talk Day

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: January 28, 2021 10:00 a.m.

January 28 is Bell Let’s Talk day
January 28 is Bell Let’s Talk day Credit: Bell Let’s Talk toolkit

January 28 is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a nationwide initiative to recognize the importance of the mental health and wellness of all Canadians. The University of Regina supports Bell Let’s Talk Day and recognizes the significant role that mental wellness plays in the overall wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. Being a safe, healthy, and supportive community that is free from bias and discrimination is part of the University’s core values.
 

Did you know - Counselling Services is currently offering e-counselling to registered students at no charge? Credit: University Advancement & Communications
This past fall we launched the Mental Wellness Hub, a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support for students, faculty, and staff. Rob McCaffrey, Mental Health Advisor for Health, Safety & Wellness, played a key role in determining what content should be on the site and ensuring visitors to the site would be accessing reliable, helpful information and resources. Over the past year, McCaffrey has seen an increased need for accessible mental health services, especially for students.
 
“COVID-19 has created so many changes to our classrooms, our ways of learning, our social lives, and much more,” says McCaffrey. “We want to ensure that students at the University of Regina know what resources are available to them, and where they can turn to for help.”
 
For students seeking face-to-face treatment, Counselling Services at the U of R is currently offering e-counselling to registered students at no charge. The Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone and sponsored by The Cooperators is also available to students 24/7 by texting "UofR" to 686868.
 
The following mental wellness programs are also available to students:
  • Canadian Mental Health Association’s BounceBack© program: a guided self-help program effective in helping adults and youth manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry. Through telephone coaching and a selection of skill-building workbooks to choose from, participants can customize their own program, learn ways to overcome their symptoms, and improve their current and future mental well-being. For more information and to register, click here. This program free for Saskatchewan residents.
  • Mindful Mondays: an online program series aimed at providing resources and tools to support your personal mental wellness. The next session for students is Monday, February 8 at 9:00 a.m. and it runs every other Monday until April 5. For more information and to register, click here.
  • University of Regina Students’ Union mywellness Program: this site provides information and resources available to students including information on financial wellness and suicide prevention and a free mental health assessment. Visit the mywellness site here.
  • UniWellbeing Course: this free, five-week course provides education and guidance to help post-secondary students manage depression and/or anxiety. More information is available on the Online Therapy Unit’s website.
The University has committed to creating a healthy campus community and learning environment in its 2020-25 strategic plan All Our Relations, or Kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak in Cree. Well-being and Belonging is one of the five Areas of Focus in the strategic plan, with three interconnected objectives below it: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Healthy Living; and Mental Health Literacy and Research.
 
“A person’s mental health plays such an important role in their overall wellbeing,” says Dr. Jenny Keller, Manager of Counselling Services. “When we prioritize the mental wellness of faculty, staff, and students at the University of Regina, we are also supporting them in their academic and career success.”
 
If you are a student interested in providing feedback on the mental health support and resources at the University of Regina, you are encouraged to participate in the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey (CCWS). The CCWS is a national survey that is coordinated by the University of British Columbia that will be emailed to students the week of February 1. It provides a basis for assessing the mental and physical health and wellbeing of students and identifies priorities for each participating campus.

Stress IS inevitable. However, although we can't completely get rid of stress, we can learn to respond better to it when it does show up. 

Jolene Sebastien and Erin Harris, Registered Psychologists and Clinicians in Counselling Services at the U of R, share five things we can do to tame our stress:
  1. Our MINDSET matters!
  1. WRITE it out!
  1. STOP and give yourself permission to take a short break!
  1. Schedule in SELF-CARE!
  1. Seek out SUPPORT!
By shifting our view of stress from being “a threat” to “a challenge,” our automatic self-talk and behavioural responses also shift towards those characteristic of courage, encouragement and perseverance, rather than fear, self-judgement and defeat. Dump all the stress living in your head onto a piece of paper. This helps us gain an “outside observer perspective” to more clearly assess, organize, plan, prioritize, and problem solve. It is the first step in taking action on our stress. For example, get up and stretch, go for a walk, get yourself something to drink or grab a snack. When we get up and move our bodies, change our environment by going somewhere else, or briefly engage in a different task, it provides time and space for the emotional intensity to decrease. Times of stress can take a toll on our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. Taking 30 minutes to exercise, cuddle a pet, or have a hot shower might save you from an evening-long melt-down later. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of resourcefulness. Call a friend or family member to help problem-solve, meet with your professor or boss to clarify information, or connect with a mental health professional for insight and strategies.

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New Mental Wellness Hub a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support

Well-being and Belonging: U of R’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Series, Part 4 of 6

Pandemic expedites new and much-needed online delivery of student counselling