May is internationally recognized as a month to acknowledge, learn about, and destigmatize mental illness. Additionally, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week. Held the first week in May, Canadians in communities, schools, and workplaces have rallied around CMHA Mental Health Week for the last 71 years. VCC is proud to be an ally in fostering a healthy mental wellness workplace throughout the month of May.
Since January, 60 employees have attended one of our monthly Skillfully Responding to Distress* workshops put on by Crisis Centre BC. These workshops have helped employees understand the challenges that are faced when colleagues are in distress and what not to do in a situation of crisis.
On April 5, VCC launched the CMHA’s Not Myself Today program. In preparation for this program, over 300 employees attended departmental and college-wide informational sessions. In addition, 40 employees joined our team of Not Myself Today Ambassadors.
VCC is excited to host our annual mental health and well-being event – Connecting with Compassion and Empathy on May 26 from 11 am to 2 pm. Students and staff are encouraged to join the virtual event via Zoom while family and community members can participate online via Facebook live.
The event will feature a keynote speech by internationally recognized neuroscience educator, Sarah Peyton, entitled Tools for Taking Care of our Mental Health and Wellbeing. The day will also showcase activities such as chair yoga with Sandra Jara, a workshop on procrastination workshop by Mika Maniwa, and sounding healing with VCC alumni Theda Phoenix.
Attend the entire event or drop in when you can.
VCC's mental health and wellness event features VCC alumni Theda Phoenix.
The day also marks the official release of VCC’s Mental Health & Well-being Framework.*
Created in partnership with the CMHA BC and Healthy Minds Healthy Campuses, as well guided by VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being steering committee, this framework is a result of an extensive consultation process that garnered over 1500 responses from members of the college community by way of focus groups, dialogues, and a campus-wide survey. Our framework will aim to guide our well-being efforts in promoting mental health for the next five years (2022-2026).
The full schedule and how to access this exciting event organized by the Counselling Department, the SUVCC, and People Services will be available on our Events page on May 13.
Later this month, VCC will also be releasing a series of suicide prevention videos for use by faculty and employees that speak directly to post-secondary students.
The series is a collaborative project involving over half of the colleges and universities in BC —Capilano University, Douglas College, Justice Institute of BC, Langara College, North Island College, Northern Lights College, Okanagan College, Royal Roads University, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Community College, Simon Fraser University, and University of the Fraser Valley.
Educators and facilitators can look to use these videos in workshops, classrooms, social media campaigns, and more. Each video was informed by the latest research into suicide prevention and includes content warnings and directions to resources for immediate support.
In June, students and employees are invited to learn how to counter stress at Making Sense of Feeling “Out of Control”: How and Why You Are Healthier than You Think, a learning session to better understand how to counter stress using polyvagal theory and practices, window of tolerance, and simple mindfulness practices for thoughts and emotions.
Participants will also be given an overview of brain science and how it relates to stress and feeling overwhelmed. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend. The event takes place on June 15 from 12 pm to 1 pm.
At VCC we recognize that our community’s mental health and well-being is not only a topic of concern and care for the month of May, but also a commitment of empathy and support we hold every day.
* MyVCC.ca login required to access these links.