May 28, 2019

Friend or foe? Make stress work for you

April 26 event hosted by Mathison Centre encourages collaboration to mitigate and manage stress
Feeling overwhelmed? Find out how you can make stress your friend at Mathison Centre event, April 26.
Feeling overwhelmed? Find out how you can make stress your friend at Mathison Centre event, April 26 Pixabay image by www_slon_pics, licensed under Creative Commons

Stress — that person that you can’t quite seem to get rid of, even though you’ve told them repeatedly to beat it. However, when managed in a healthy way, that pesky part of life also serves a purpose in providing adrenaline and drive to get things done.

An event hosted by the Mathison Centre, Stress and Campus Life: A Conversation on Mental Well-Being, will shed light on how stress manifests within the university community, while equipping attendees with the tools to manage it for happier, healthier lives.

Featuring four presenters, the event will cover topics including how to recognize and manage stress, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying stress, and the resources and programs available on-campus through the Campus Mental Health Strategy (CMHS).

Designed to help attendees relax during this stressful time of year, the event will begin with socializing, snacks, and a classical music performance. Following the presentations, attendees are encouraged to join the conversation with a moderated Q&A period.  

“We’re focusing on wellness, so people should feel excited and elevated,” says Tamara Pringsheim, deputy director of the Mathison Centre. “This will be a really positive environment where people can learn about the biological effects of stress, what it does to the brain and the body, and what we can do on campus to help one another better manage it.”

Pringsheim hopes the event, open to students, faculty and staff, will foster connections throughout the university community. “This is an opportunity to connect with people from across faculties. Hopefully, attendees will feel like they’re part of an inclusive community,” she says.

“Regardless of how you manage it, stress and the effects on mental health are common issues that everyone faces. We want people to know that stress is a normal part of the human experience and to recognize that help is here if they need it, right here in our own community.”

With the growth of the Mathison Centre, Pringsheim hopes to see further events that combine their dual purposes of promoting mental health research and education. “Whether it’s the campus or Calgary as a whole, engaging with the community is a priority to us,” Pringsheim states.

“We want to be involved in helping the province excel in mental health, not only through new discoveries, but through education. We consider it part of our mandate to offer support through this type of event.”

With the CMHS sparking increased interest in mental health across faculties, Pringsheim hopes the conversation will continue long after the event concludes. “From the arts to education, psychology, and sociology, there is starting to be greater collaboration between departments and groups regarding mental health,” Pringsheim says.

“We hope this event continues to promote open conversations and inspires cross-faculty collaborations as we work towards the common goal of creating a community of caring.”

The University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy is a bold commitment to the importance of mental health and well-being of our university family. Our vision is to be a community where we care for each other, learn and talk about mental health and well-being, receive support as needed, and individually and collectively realize our full potential. 

Psychological Support is one of 13 factors illustrated by the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (National Standard). The University of Calgary is a recipient of the Excellence Canada Mental Health at Work Silver Level Certification in this area. Visit WellBeing and WorkLife to learn more about the implementation of the National Standard at the University of Calgary and to learn about existing programs and resources that support each of the 13 factors.