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Leah Deane, director of Student Services at Bannatyne Campus, said her office offers 11 different services to students.

A look at Student Services on Bell Let’s Talk Day

January 29, 2020 — 

Students are well into the winter term and the stress of school is building up.

If the stress becomes overwhelming, Leah Deane, director of Student Services at Bannatyne Campus, and her team are ready to help.

“Students are not alone,” Deane said. “There are skilled and compassionate people available to help. If there’s anything students need, we like to say, ‘there’s no issue too big or too small.’”

While Student Services at Bannatyne Campus (SS@BC) can help students with their academic stress, the office offers many free and confidential services for learners facing all types of challenges.

SS@BC offers 11 different services: confidential intake and triage support, case management, counselling, student mental health services, spiritual care, student accessibility services, student advocacy, financial aid and awards, international advising, career services and a food bank.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide ongoing support to students for whatever challenge they’re going through, whether it’s personal, academic or related to their physical or mental health,” Deane said.

For one Rady Faculty of Health Sciences student, SS@BC has helped her succeed. Over the time in her program she has accessed spiritual care, mental health services and accessibility services.

“Honestly, without Student Services I’d be a mess,” the learner said. “I would have struggled a lot. I don’t know if I would have overcome the challenges and pushed past those obstacles without them.”

The student said that the SS@BC staff makes her feel that they genuinely care about her.

“They are always there for me,” the student said. “I’m really thankful because I probably wouldn’t have gotten this far without them.”

Deane said that students on the Bannatyne campus are high achievers and place a lot of pressure on themselves. This can sometimes create problems, she said.

“It’s an incredibly competitive environment,” Deane said. “Students might have gone from being in the top few of their class to being amongst many who are highly successful, so that can be a bit of a challenge. The sheer demand on time, focus and performance is really, really high on this campus.”

At this time of year, in addition to academic stress, Deane said that students are dealing with the long, cold winter. She said that many students have moved to Winnipeg from out of province or from a rural community in Manitoba and they don’t have the same support networks or communities that they’re used to.

“We address isolation and loneliness,” Deane said. “We help students maintain the same routines they might have had when the weather was nice. We encourage a good diet, exercise and sleep.”

SS@BC services are offered to undergraduate students, graduate students and residents.

If a student is unsure if the resources offered would benefit them, Deane urges that they contact SS@BC to set up an appointment.

“Most often people don’t know exactly what they need, they just know they need some additional support,” Deane said. “So we’ll explore a bit, ask questions they might not have thought of, offer some suggestions and work with them to create a plan.”

SS@BC is administratively separate from any academic program and any services a student uses are confidential and won’t appear on their academic record, Deane said.

To access the services, students can call 204-272-3190 or email the office at bcstudentservices [at] umanitoba [dot] ca (all emails and voice mails are confidential). The students will then meet with an intake specialist and a plan will be created to connect the student with the most appropriate resources.

For more information about the confidential services, visit the SS@BC website.

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