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Let’s Talk about mental health and end the stigmatizing of mental illnesses

January 25 is Bell Let’s Talk Day; check out how UM is joining the conversation

January 16, 2023 — 

Talking about mental health and mental illness, sharing resources and connecting with others who have been through similar experiences are all ways to end the stigmatizing of mental illnesses. That’s why the University of Manitoba will be among more than 200 post-secondary institutions across Canada to take part in the world’s largest mental health conversation with Bell Let’s Talk again this year. 

The Bell Let’s Talk campaign encourages us all to keep listening, keep talking and keep showing up for ourselves and each other– and that message has never been more important.

This time of year can be tough on Manitobans, with the holidays behind us, short days spent mostly indoors and summer a distant dream, it’s easy to get the winter blues. And then there are the ever-changing circumstances and uncertainty around the ongoing pandemic that has impacted our lives for almost three years. A perfect cocktail for depression, stress and anxiety.

Support for students

Students face unique challenges as they navigate course work, exams, work and personal lives. UM is committed to providing quality student supports and offers a range of mental health services. Students are encouraged to reach out for help and to encourage others who may need help, regardless of the level of need.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of providing a comprehensive and accessible range of mental wellness supports, services and educational programs for students,” said Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students).

“UM remains committed to supporting our students’ mental health and embraces opportunities to advance the conversation.”

Support for staff and faculty

Staff and faculty are also rebuilding mental and physical reserves after 3 years of pandemic life and we are all in need of taking time to take care of ourselves. UM encourages employees to access resources and prioritize wellness. Resources for employee wellbeing are available on the UM Intranet.   

Bell Let’s Talk

Campus mental health is an ongoing priority for Bell. To date, Bell Let’s Talk has awarded over $5 million in grants to support student mental health programs at 127 post-secondary institutions around Canada with a total student population of more than 2 million. 

This year, Bell’s campaign focuses even more on how we can all take meaningful action to create positive CHANGE. Every action and every interaction can make an impact; let’s make each one count. Get more details and access Bell Let’s Talk’s tools and resources.

Check out how UM is joining the conversation

Staff, faculty and students are all encouraged to join in the conversation and raise awareness about the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Use the #BellLetsTalk on social media, attend one of the events listed below and take meaningful action to create positive change for mental health. Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk for ideas. 

Reflective Quiet Space

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:30 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.
Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, 521 A/B UMSU University Centre

We all need times to decompress on our own and seek a retreat from our busy and hectic schedules. We invite you to make use of our contemplative space to find grounding and peace in your day. Feel free to pray, meditate, gather your thoughts, or simply be in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

More info, email:
spiritualcare [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

Wellness Group

Wednesdays from 10:30 A.M. to 11 A.M.
Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, 521 A/B UMSU University Centre

We invite you to come away from your stresses and distractions for a time of face-to-face connection. Join us to gather, share how the week is going and connect with others!

More info, email:
sjcchaplain [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

Mindfulness Meditation – Meditate with a Monk

Wednesday evenings,  5 – 6 P.M.
Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, 521 A/B UMSU University Centre

Meditate with a Buddhist Monk offers an opportunity for UM community members to practice and learn the fundamentals of meditation from the spiritual tradition that introduced this wellness practice to the world. Whether you consider yourself spiritual or not, these gatherings offer you the gift of mindfulness in an accessible and attentive way.

More info, email:
spiritualcare [at] umanitoba [dot] ca
info [at] mahamevnawawinnipeg [dot] org

Tech Free Lunches: Connecting through Conversation

Fridays from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, 521 A/B UMSU University Centre

We invite you to get away from your stresses and distractions for a time of face to face connection.

More info, email:
spiritualcare [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or visit segueuofm.com

Mindful Campus Room (Fort Garry Campus)

Jan 24, 10- 2:30pm (drop-in)
Location: 217 UMSU University Centre (Graduate Students Association Lounge)

Students, staff and faculty are invited to join us on January 24 in 217 UMSU University Centre (Graduate Students Association Lounge), which will be converted into a space for fun, relaxation, and connecting with other UM community members. Bring yourselves, friends and co-workers to enjoy tea & snacks, play a game, or indulge your creative side – there’s something for everyone! The room will be open from 10am-2:30pm. Join also for a guided mindfulness practice at 10:30.

More info:
Contact Arlana Vadnais 

Bouncing Back to the Beat (Group drumming for wellness)

Tuesday, January 24, 12:00-1:00 pm
Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, 521 A/B UMSU University Centre

Hosted in partnership with Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, Student Support Case Management, and the International Centre. Come connect with fellow students and experience the joy and power of drumming together while engaging in facilitated wellness themed discussions and musical activities. All skill levels welcome including beginners! Instruments will be provided.

More info, email:
spiritualcare [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

Let’s Make a Positive Change

Jan 25-26, 11:30 a.m.-3:20 p.m. on Jan 25 or 11:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. on January 24 & 26 (drop-in)
1st Floor Fletcher Argue Building

UM’s Active Minds student group is hosting an information booth to provide details on mental health resources available on and off campus as well as free giveaways for Bell Let’s Talk Day. They’ll also ask visitors to answer the question “What positive change you want to make this year to feel good about yourself?” as an interactive activity, providing a chance for people to think about their own mental health. Everyone is welcome!

More info: activemindsumanitoba [at] gmail [dot] com  

Gardening with Purpose

Jan 25, 12- 12:45pm and 1-1:45pm (drop-in)
Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, 521 UMSU University Centre

The intent of Gardening with Purpose is to allow you an opportunity to reflect, identify and consciously practice lifestyle intentions or habits to foster well-being. Facilitated and spurred through a gardening activity, you will be creating a self-development goal or aspiration you would like to see grow within yourself. The project aims to create a sense of community and interaction with the land and nature.

More info:
Contact Arlana Vadnais 

Mindful Campus Room (Bannatyne Campus)

Jan 26, 10- 2:00pm (drop-in)
405 Brodie Centre

Students, staff and faculty are invited to join us on January 26 in 405 Brodie Centre, which will be converted into a space for fun, relaxation, and connecting with other UM community members. Bring yourselves, friends and co-workers to enjoy tea & snacks, play a game, or indulge your creative side – there’s something for everyone! The room will be open from 10am-2:30pm. Join also for a guided mindfulness practice at 10:30.

More info:
Contact Arlana Vadnais 

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