Let's Talk...about how to live well at Mount Royal

Let's Talk - Wellness Month 2016 1Being a post-secondary student brings a time of significant changes and new experiences ranging from being the first time away from parents and families to facing challenging health and relationship related decisions that must be navigated alone. In addition, there is increased stress due to exams, assignments and the pressure to succeed and to belong.

Mount Royal has implemented a number of ways students to manage their health and well being, while also encouraging them to support their peers in doing the same.

"Students carry their past experiences, illnesses and personal challenges with them when they come to university. We need to be aware of that and ensure students are properly supported from day one," says Rachelle McGrath, Mount Royal's Healthy Campus team lead.

"We care about students' entire entity because we recognize that all aspects of their lives must be in harmony in order for them to be situated to excel in their academic careers."

A number of programs for students focused on well-being and initiatives around topics such as mental health, dating violence, anti-bullying and peer to peer education aim to implement a holistic approach to student wellness at Mount Royal. Students, faculty and staff are invited to collaborate on innovative and student-focused resources that address spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health year round.

#mruLetsTalk on Jan. 27On Jan. 27 the Students' Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU), in partnership with the unviersity, will combat stigma surrounding mental illness at #mruLetsTalk event. Conversation is the first step. Leveraging the national Bell Let's Talk campaign, #mruLetsTalk encourages and supports students at every opportunity to speak openly about mental health. Mount Royal's Main Street will feature several fun activities to open up the dialogue around mental health and the conversation will continue online using #mruLetsTalk.

Event Details - Jan. 27 on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • SAMRU's Wall of Awesome and Wellness Wheel
  • Student Distress Centre
  • Chill with Counselling
  • Coffee and Chat with Healthy Campus Team
  • Peer educators focusing on Health and Mental Health
  • Get moving with Recreation and Physical Literacy
Let's Talk - Wellness Month 2016

Peer to Peer Mental Health ProgramIn September 2015, the Peer to Peer Mental Health Program, a student-run program working to eradicate stigma associated with mental illness by empowering and engaging Mount Royal students through open conversation, events and training opportunities, became the third peer-lead wellness project to join Mount Royal's Health Campus Team in Wellness Services.

"Being a Peer to Peer Mental Health Educator at Mount Royal has given me the opportunity to not only grow as a student, but to also grow as an individual," shares Sydney Quick, second-year psychology student at Mount Royal.

Rhonda Anderson, mental health facilitator at Mount Royal, says, "Talking is the first step towards meaningful change and building greater awareness, acceptance and action. Students who are involved in the Peer to Peer Mental Health Program are passionate about raising awareness of mental health and working to decrease stigma associated with mental illness."

The Breathing Room online mental health module In partnership with the Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM), Mount Royal is proud to offer our students a revolutionary eight-module online program that aims to improve mental health and transform lives. Finding room to breathe - to build a sense of resilience and cope with challenges - has become a key element in ensuring that students get an undergraduate experience that meets their needs.

For those that are not available to attend workshops and are not comfortable exploring mental health issues with others, the Breathing Room offers a safe virtual space for students to focus on themselves and work at their own pace.
National College Health AssessmentEach year Mount Royal, along with fellow Canadian post-secondary institutions, implements the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) Survey. This student health data helps to plan ahead on issues that need attention. From Jan. 26 to Feb. 16, students will be randomly selected to complete the survey, which will be sent to their Mount Royal e-mail accounts.

There will be early bird prizes for one of 20 mall gift cards valued at $25, and a grand prize of a $500 mall gift card!

Let's Talk - Wellness Month 2016 2

Stepping UpDiscussions of dating and sexual violence within a post-secondary community have never been more relevant. Efforts to increase awareness and provide information on responding to disclosures, and easier access to resources that can help victims/survivors of dating, domestic and sexual violence, will contribute to building capacity within the university for a violence-free community. Information collected from the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey have informed exemplary programs that are unique to Mount Royal, such as Stepping Up. A peer-facilitated healthy relationships promotion program, Stepping Up was developed by Gaye Warthe, PhD, Cathy Carter-Snell, PhD, and Patricia Kostouros, PhD. Stepping Up involves students in developing topics for discussion related to relationships, facilitating these discussions during a weekend event, and supporting other students as they complete brief community projects.

The Stepping Up Weekend 2016 runs from Jan. 22 to 24.
Physical Literacy and mental healthPut down that book, give up the gaming and turn off the tube. Physical literacy is more than a buzzword - it's a fundamental skill set that not only prolongs life, it can you more content. Being active every day has benefits beyond fitness. Physical literacy boosts emotional health and well-being, fosters social connections, encourages community engagement, and researchers are beginning to study physical literacy in the context of brain development.

Being physically literate equips you with fundamental skills such as being able to throw, balance and catch that are often associated with many active social pastimes such as bowling, softball or hiking. The benefits of being physically literate can also include decreasing anxiety and depression, and increasing your self-confidence. Building your physical literacy supports your pursuit of your best you - both mentally and physically, and will allow you to impart those same skills to encourage healthier future generations.

Mount Royal University boasts Canada's first Physical Literacy Major in the Faculty of Health and Community Education as well as a first-of-its-kind Physical Literacy Lab where students get hands on experience working alongside faculty.
Mount Royal RecreationGet physically literate on campus at MRU Recreation through a wide variety of activities, including personal training, fitness classes, climbing, aquatics, sports, events, tournaments and certifications.