Just in time for Valentine’s Day, students at Red River College (RRC) had the opportunity to talk about intimate relationships and related issues, such as the importance of consent, in an interactive workshop designed to promote greater health and well-being.
The Cupcakes and Condoms workshop was facilitated Klinic Community Health and the Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC) and brought to the College as part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College (HMHC) Initiative. Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC, said it’s important for students to have access to workshops like this so they can feel empowered to make healthy decisions and know how to protect their well-being.
“We know that strong healthy relationships, whether intimate or platonic are key to personal well-being,” she said. “The Public Health Agency of Canada found that Adults with strong relationships are more likely to report high life satisfaction and good mental health. Conversely, experiencing disrespect, harassment, abuse, and sexual assault take a toll on one’s mental health and well-being and are risk factors for developing certain mental illnesses.”
Through the HMHC initiative, RRC hosts several events per year with the aim to meet the demands of students, faculty, and staff with mental health problems and illness while promoting wellness, recovery and resilience for all. For Sawatzky, whose role was created in 2016, that means creating a comfortable environment for students, and staff, to learn and share.
“When students are here at College, we want them to be safe from harassment, abuse, and assault; to know what to do if they experience these; and importantly, know how to form and sustain healthy relationships,” she said. “Klinic and SERC are leaders in promoting sexual health through education so they’re a natural fit to educate our students on these important topics. Including free cupcakes, supplied by Lilac Bakery, and condoms for all who attend is a way to make this learning fun and enjoyable.”
February 12 to 16, 2018 is also SERC’s 15th annual national Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness week, with the theme of ‘Minding our Business’: Sexual Health & Mental Wellness, highlighting the interconnectedness of mental health and sexual health in our bodies and within our communities. The group will be hosting a number of events in Winnipeg and Brandon as well as posting self-care tips on social media.
To learn more about RRC’s Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, click here: https://blogs.rrc.ca/wellness/