Tools

The Window: Marcia Fisher

In a reaction to the loss of a loved one, I decided to switch gears within my practice and focus on creating pieces that allowed myself to work through the grief. This work took shape and resulted in The Window: multiple weavings which are all roughly 6’ in length. The weaving process was repetitive and therefore held a meditative quality. This work has as much emphasis on the process as its concept; though the completed work is a physical representation of the internal battle of a loss, the process is what guided me through the grief in real time.

The strong importance of this process came to me only after the work was completed. Through reflection, I saw that The Window was an important step towards facing what I did not want to; in the weeks between losing my loved one and beginning the weaving process, I inadvertently kept myself busy with activities which would not bring up thoughts of the loss. Starting and following through with the weavings put a personal pressure on dealing with every aspect of my grief. It was my personal method for nursing the emotional exhaustion I felt.

 

A loss never leaves you. It is possible that it becomes more comfortable and familiar to your being, but it never leaves you. These pieces stand for what cannot be put to words. They stand for what is gone, but not lost. It is a physical recognition of the internal struggle that cannot be seen to the outside observer. It is a meditation on loss and a material representation of the ability to come to terms with it. It is an attempt to put to materiality what cannot be seen or touched, but is certainly present. It is an ode to the elusive, deep understanding that the loss of a loved one is only a physical loss.

Marcia Fisher

Naming the Elephant in the Room: Victoria Sutherland

 I have depression. There. I said it. Holy shit, the elephant in the room has been named! I won’t tell you that I suffer from it, but instead I’ll say I deal with it. Much like an addiction, admitting is the first step and it’s taken me two decades to finally do it. I, along with many other people had bought into the stigma. I spent 6 years obtaining a psych degree (yes, I see the irony in this) so I knew all about the signs, symptoms, treatments and knew that someone with depression isn’t broken or fucked up. Yet, I didn’t want to be labeled as someone with a mental illness. So, instead I gave excuses for my illness – “I’m just feeling down for some reason”, “it’s just a bad day/week/month”, “I’m fine but I just need some time away from everything”. Not once when I had an extreme reaction to a negative event did I think “hmm maybe this is something bigger.”

Yoga at the Park: Sol’s fitness & UnderstandUs

What: 1 hour yoga session to raise money for mental health.

When: Wednesday August 19 6pm – 7pm.

Where: The park behind Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

How:  Show up with friends and enjoy yourself.  Any donation is accepted but not mandatory.

Why: Sol’s fitness and UnderstandUs believe that mental health and physical health impact each other in positive ways.  We want to offer tools for everyone to live a happy and healthier life.

Thank you for your continued support.

Share Your Recipe: Seven Stones

A group of fourth year nursing students from the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Regina were placed at Seven Stones Elementary School for their community rotation. They wanted to implement mental health into their educational time with the students. They narrowed in on this issue as being something that is not talked about enough in a positive way within the community and also a topic that many students struggle with.

 

UUs

 

Share Your Recipe: St Matthew School

We all know the things that we need to do to improve our physical health, but we often lack the tools to improve our mental health.  Whether it is going for a walk, playing your favourite sport, or reaching out to family or friends in times of need we all have ingredients to improve our mental wellness.  These recipes need to be shared.

The students at St. Matthew Elementary are asking you to share your mental health recipe so they can cook with it. Be a leader and share your ingredients for positive mental health so those who are struggling with the same barriers can use those tools to live a more fulfilled and healthy life.  Use the pictures below on your social media outlets to share your ingredients with friends using #ShareYourRecipe.

 

Go to ShareYourRecipe.ca

 

Break the Stigma: Kirstin Kuka

My name is Kirstin Kuka. I’m 22 years old and I am a University of Regina student. I am currently finishing up my last year of my undergraduate degree in Human Justice with a specialized concentration in Criminal and Restorative Justice. Try telling your family that long title every single family gathering! Human Justice and Criminology in general are my passions and I am so truly blessed to have found something that I love so much to fulfill as a field of work and study.

 

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression at the age of 19. But in all honesty, I had been dealing with both of these mental illnesses long before my diagnosis. As a child I was one of those kids that constantly worried about other people, especially my family. I remember seeing a counsellor regularly for the first time in elementary school at the age of 8 and as I grew older I continued to see someone off and on just to stay on track.

 

One hours time: Riley Lawson

In one hour’s time in Grade 7 at the age of 12, something happened. I didn’t know it at the time but it would shape my entire existence, influence my every decision, and affect the rest of my life…

 

I had been sick with the flu for a few days at home prior to the day that began it all. I was in music class and was not feeling well so I asked to go to the bathroom. The teacher told me to sit back down and wait the 5 minutes until the film was over, so I did as I was told. I remember sitting there thinking about how embarrassed I would be if I got sick in front of all these people but dismissed it and tried to watch the film. Not more than 2-3 minutes later I felt a wave of sickness come over me,

Out of the Blues: The story of Chris Burns

This is the story of Chris Burns.  A great friend and someone who I believe will be a huge part of the mental health movement in Canada for years to come.  His unique story and his fearless way of delivering it is amazing to watch.  This video follows Chris’ fascinating history, his battle with depression and ends with a message of hope for those who suffer.

 

Walk with me: Kristin Foote

What is an RPN anyway?  Why wouldn’t you just become a real nurse? Aren’t you scared of working there?  Tell me some crazy stories!

 

These comments and questions are asked to me on a regular basis as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. I am a proud RPN at the Regina General Hospital on the Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry Units and a Casual Psychosocial Rehabilitation Worker with Phoenix Residential Society.

 

Spandex Thinking: Carleen Desautels

Yoga pants, jeggings, stretchy jeans and the comfy pajama bottoms that you keep for years.  When we put on these pieces of clothing we feel free and unrestricted, the shape of the clothes adjusting to the shape of our body rather than us having to adjust to the shape of the clothes.  All of these pieces of clothing contain some small amount of Spandex, in most cases as little as 5%.  The stretchiness of the threads allows the fabric to shift and move, making allowances for our bodies and making those yoga pants, jeggings or jeans the “perfect fit”.

Which glasses do you wear?: Carleen Desautels

Understand is an action word. A verb that means to interpret the meaning, significance, explanation or cause of something, it demands that to understand we have to “do” something. But what is it that we have to do? I would propose that the do part of understanding is the ways we choose to look at things, people and situations that we aren’t familiar with, that are different than us. Differences are a part of our everyday lives. We have different tastes in clothes, different jobs with different demands. We look different, think different and act in different ways. Facing differentness is not an option, but HOW we face differentness is. When faced with things, people and situations that are different, ask yourself;

ANTs: Carleen Desautels

Ants, how harmful can these tiny little insects really be? Just ask someone who has been bitten by a fire ant, named after the fire-like pain they leave with even a single bite. These seemingly tiny creatures pack a punch and have the potential to kill small animals and even humans who may be attacked by an army of these nasty ants. So you may be wondering why I am talking about insects here. Well just consider this, what if