Move for Movember

Globally, one man takes his own life every minute, of every day. 

This Movember, we’re asking Lakehead students, faculty, staff and alumni to make your Move – for them. Commit to walking or running 60 km over the month. That’s 60 km for the 60 men we lose each hour, every hour – the men who should still be here today. You don’t have to be an ultra-athlete, or own the latest kicks. Just put one foot in front of the other, and you’ve already made a start. 

Each week, we will share information to help reduce the stigma around men's mental health, to learn how to broach the topic of mental health with your male friends, family and colleagues and increase knowledge of the resources available to support you.

How to sign up:  

  1. Visit movember.com and join our team, Lakehead Thunderwolves, choose to Move for men’s health.
  2. Chip away at your target. Hit it fast. Take it slow. Go outside. Or jump on the treadmill. Sync your fitness tracker or log your activity manually.
  3. Make it count. Call on friends and family to join in, raise awareness about men’s mental health concerns and resources throughout the month. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with emotional distress

  • Crisis Response Services is a 24/7 crisis line staffed by the Canadian Mental Health Association
    • Thunder Bay- 807-346-8282
    • Orillia- 705-728-5044
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Suicide Hotlines Across the World 
  • GOOD2TALK post-secondary crisis line- 1-866-925-5454
  • Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone- a free, confidential texting service, available 24/7/365. By texting GOOD2TALKON to 686868, post-secondary students in Ontario can be connected to a trained volunteer Crisis Responder who is there to listen and support students with any issue they’re facing.
  • Crisis Service Canada: www.crisisservicescanada.ca
  • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
    • Service is available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French.
  • Trans Lifeline: 1-(877) 330-6366
  • The Trevor Project (for LGBTQ Youth)- 1-866-844-7386
ready, set, mo

Student Wellness Advisory Team 2020

Are you passionate about health and wellness? Do you want to help inform wellness initiatives on campus and provide insight from the student perspective? Join the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Team. 

The Student Wellness Advisory Team (SWAT) aims to facilitate student input into the overall operations of Student Health and Wellness, Lakehead University’s Wellness Strategy and Student Health and Wellness’ Health Promotion Strategy.  Members shall serve as student ambassadors with respect to the services offered by Student Health and Wellness and as ambassadors with respect to the overall health and wellness of the student population.  

Learn more about SWAT here or fill out the application to join 

Join the Student Wellness Advisory Team

Halloween Mocktail Recipes from DrinkSmart

There are plenty of ways to celebrate this Halloween but drinking alcohol doesn't have to be one of them. 

Zombie Mule

  • 3 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 3 oz. Lemonade
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 1.5 oz. Butter Fly Pea Tea
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

Directions: In a tall glass fill halfway with ice and pour ginger beer, top with more ice and pour lemonade. Top with lime juice and garnish. Pour the Butterfly pea tea slowly over the top and watch the cocktail turn from blue – purple-black.

Mojito of Madness

  • 4 oz. Soda Water
  • 2 oz. Lemonade
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 1 oz. Agave syrup
  • Splash of 7-up
  • Garnish with a bruised mint leaf

Directions: In a shaker half full of ice add all non-carbonated ingredients and shake until well pulverized and chilled. Pour entire contents into a tall glass. Top with soda water and 7-up, stir. Take a mint leaf and slap it between your hands and place on top of the glass

Poltergeist Palmer

  • 4 oz. Lemonade
  • 3 oz. Iced Tea
  • 4 Raspberries
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 orange wedge
  • Garnish with a flamed lemon slice

Directions: Using a kitchen torch (or maybe not!) flame both sides of the lime slice and reserve. Add all ingredients into a shaker half full of ice and shake until well combined. Pour into a Collins glass and garnish with the flamed lemon in the glass like a sun.

Bloody Sunset

  • 4 oz. Orange juice
  • 2 oz. Cranberry juice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Splash of grenadine
  • Garnish with an orange wheel

Directions: in a rocks glass pour 1 oz of grenadine into the bottom. In a shaker half full of ice add orange juice and lime wedge. Shake until chilled, strain and pour over fresh ice covering half the glass. Fill with ice and top with cranberry juice slowly to layer and garnish with an orange wheel.

Here are some more non-alcoholic Halloween themed drinks from DrinkSmart

Halloween Mocktails

Coping with Loneliness while Self-Isolating

With cold and flu season upon us, there is a chance you might have to self-isolate if you have symptoms that overlap with COVID-19. Having to self-isolate can feel lonely and challenge our mental health. Here are some steps you can take to help you cope during a period of isolation:

  • Find alternate ways to connect with friends and loved ones: phone, text, FaceTime, emails can allow you to stay in touch and receive support. Online gaming is also a great way to connect and keep busy.
  • Let others know you want to stay connected: inform friends and loved ones that keeping in touch in other ways is important to you. Ask them if they can also reach out to you during this period
  • Practice wellness at home: stretch and move your body (check out Campus Rec's on-demand fitness classes), get proper nutrition, and ensure good rest.
  • Remind yourself that isolation is not forever: You will be able to get out and about and resume your normal activities again.

If you are self-isolating and struggling with mental health- don't forget that Student Health and Wellness counselling appointments are being conducted via phone so you can still book an appointment. If you find yourself lonely after hours, call a hotline like Good2talk or check out online peer support like TalkCampus or 7 cups.

A reminder that one way to avoid having to self-isolate is to get your flu shot, available at Student Health and Wellness in Thunder Bay, pharmacies across Ontario and from primary health care providers.

coping with loneliness while self-isolating

International Pronouns Day

The third Wednesday of October marks International Pronouns Day.

International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects trans and gender-nonconforming people. Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including the use of non-binary/neutral pronouns (e.g., they/them). Recent research finds that referring to people in the ways they wish to be referred to can have positive health outcomes for trans people.

Using your own pronouns when introducing yourself or in your email signature tells everyone that you are not going to assume their gender. It also helps take the burden off of trans and non-binary students to continuously explain their identity. Using pronouns is a key element of being a 2SLGBTQIA+ ally and is something that is effortless to do, but means the world to others. These actions are part of the larger work of creating and sustaining inclusive and supportive communities for everyone.

To learn more about gender orientation and being an ally, visit this page or check out www.mypronouns.org

 

 

International Pronouns Day

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Tis the season for everything pumpkin spice, but not everything has to be unhealthy. Granola sometimes gets a bad wrap, but making it yourself can be the solution to limit the sugar. Homemade granola makes a great breakfast or snack and provides protein, fibre and healthy fats. 

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • pumpkin spice granola ingredients2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups raw pecans
  • 1/3 cup raw pepitas
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (No pumpkin pie spice? No problem, make your own with this recipe)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (171 C).
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the coconut oil, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree and whisk. Pour over the dry ingredients and quickly mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Spread the mixture evenly onto two baking sheets and bake for 23-30 minutes, stirring a bit near the halfway point. If you prefer chunkier granola, don’t stir as it breaks up the clusters. Instead, just rotate the pans at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
  • Once the granola is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool completely. It will crisp up as it cools.
  • Transfer to an airtight container. Should keep for a couple of weeks. Enjoy with milk, yogurt, or on top of oats!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker's Pumpkin Maple Pecan Granola- check out her website for other granola flavours and combos

Pumpkin spice granola

Experiencing COVID FOMO?

Social media has always reinforced the fear of missing out on fun and exciting experiences but before, what you did with FOMO was your own choice. Now, you might not even have the option to partake in the activities others are involved in because precautionary measures are still in place (and for good reason, to keep people safe). Worse even, is that you might be doing your best to follow guidelines while seeing others break them on TikTok, why should you be excluded when you are doing the right thing? The disparity between what you want to do, what you are allowed to do, what you should do and what others are doing can cause anxiety and frustration. 

A difficult part of all this is that you're probably relying, to some degree, on social media to feel connected to your "people" and to your larger community. So you're simultaneously getting the benefits of connection (that may be really hard to get elsewhere at the moment) while also feeling the burn of FOMO. If you are having a hard time finding the balance in your own social media use, here are some tips:

  • Take a brief vacation from social media and connect with people in a more meaningful way than liking their posts- schedule a facetime with a friend, host a virtual game night or happy hour.

  • Text a friend and plan an outdoor get together, or go by yourself. Having adventures of your own will help ease those restless and lonely feelings, making you feel proactive about your life.

  • You might not have control over the outside world or what other people do in it- but you have control over your own actions and mindset. Start a list of things that you enjoy and use it as a to-do list for when you start to feel like you are missing out or are just feeling down. These activities don’t have to be limited to solo or indoor activities- look for events in your community that adhere to health guidelines (If you are in Thunder Bay, the Walleye is a great way to find out things going on in the area!) 

Remember that social media is often a highlight reel: You post the day you go for a hike with the fall foliage, not the day you spent on the couch rewatching The Office for the third time since March. But if we all started posting more of our reality- the loneliness you might feel right now, how you feel overwhelmed by online school, or the take out boxes because you can’t get motivated to cook for one-  we could foster understanding and actual connectedness because whether you post it or not, we are all experiencing it. 



Experiencing COVID FOMO?

Counsellor FAQ's

Thunder Bay campus Student Health and Wellness counsellors, Pat Hrabok, Trudy Kergon, and Irene Pugliese, took some time last week to answer some of the more commonly asked questions they receive from students. If you have questions for a counsellor feel free to book an appointment by emailing health@lakeheadu.ca or calling 807-343-8361 in Thunder Bay, or calling 705-330-4008 ext. 2116 or 2115 in Orillia. 

Talking to a Professor

What is normal when grieving

Looking for course accommodations

Dealing with loneliness during COVID-19

Supports during the pandemic

Flu FAQ's

Flu season is upon us and we are answering some of the commonly asked questions about the flu shot.

Who should get a flu shot?

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Flu vaccination has important benefits: It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

Where can I get the flu shot?

In Thunder Bay, students, staff and faculty can get a flu shot at Student Health and Wellness. Call 807-343-8361 to book an appointment. 

In Orillia, anyone can get the flu shot at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at the Common Roof located at 169 Front St S. Appointments are necessary. Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 to book. 

In Ontario, people with provincial health cards are able to get the vaccines from pharmacies, family doctors and public health clinics. 

International students or people without health cards 

  • In Thunder Bay

    • Flu shots will be available from Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Superior EMS or Shoppers Drug Marts. 

  • In Orillia

    • The Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit will be offering clinics. These are set to begin in November. Appointments are necessary. Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 to book. 

    • The Bell Farm Road clinic will provide vaccinations but will be by appointment only. CALL TELE-CLINIC 705-722-1199.

I’ve never gotten a flu shot before, why should I get it this year?

The flu can take its toll on our health-care system in any given year, but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk that hospitals and health-care facilities could become overwhelmed if they need to treat both flu and COVID-19 patients. Getting a flu shot could also help reduce "unnecessary testing" for COVID-19 because several symptoms of both illnesses are similar. So it's vital that people do what they can to reduce their chances of getting it.

The last time I got a flu shot, I got sick. 

Flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu shots are made with either inactivated (killed) viruses, or with only a single protein from the flu virus. There are several reasons why someone might get flu symptoms, even after they have been vaccinated against the flu.

  • Some people can become ill from other respiratory viruses besides flu such as rhinoviruses, which are associated with the common cold, cause symptoms similar to flu, and also spread and cause illness during the flu season. The flu vaccine only protects against the flu, not other illnesses.

  • While you do start to develop antibodies right away, it takes the body two weeks after the flu shot to develop full immune protection. It is possible that a person might have been exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during that two week period and that this exposure might have resulted in developing the flu before protection takes effect. That’s why it is important to get your flu shot early on. 

  • Some people may experience flu symptoms despite getting vaccinated is that they may have been exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses the vaccine is designed to protect against. The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends largely on the similarity or “match” between the viruses selected to make the vaccine and those spreading and causing illness. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people

  • The final explanation for experiencing flu symptoms after vaccination is that flu vaccines vary in how well they work and some people who get vaccinated still get sick. When that happens though, vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in those people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

How else can I prevent the spread of the flu?

In addition to getting the flu shot, people can adopt some simple practices (that might sound very familiar) to keep yourself and others healthy:

  • Covering coughs and sneezes

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Wash your hands often

  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell

  • Practice other healthy habits

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • Get plenty of sleep.

    • Eat well, with lots of vegetables and fruits.

    • Drink lots of fluids.

    • Exercise regularly.

    • Manage your stress.

Sources

 https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/misconceptions.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccinations.htm

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/flu-vaccine-covid-19-twindemic-what-you-need-to-know-1.5709559

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm

 

Having Sex and Starting Relationships during a Pandemic

Sex is an important part of many people's lives and it's not something that's just going to stop when there's a pandemic, nor should it as long as you are able to engage in sexual activity in low-risk ways. Here are some tips on how to enjoy safer sex while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Know how COVID-19 spreads. The virus spreads through particles in the saliva, mucus or breath of people with COVID-19, even from people who do not have symptoms. We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and sex. The virus has been found in the semen and feces of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. It is not entirely clear if COVID-19 can be spread through vaginal or anal sex but there is evidence that other coronaviruses do not easily spread through sex. 

That being said- if you are having sex with someone, it is likely that you will be within six feet of each other and you will probably be kissing at the same time, and the virus is passed through saliva. Essentially, any possibility of transfer of coronavirus - from your mouth to your hands, to genitals, to someone else's nose or mouth - increases the risk of passing on coronavirus 

You are your safest sex partner! Take advantage of the chance to get (re)acquainted with your body and have some fun. Remember to wash your hands & any toys with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

The next safest partner is a consenting partner in your bubble. In Ontario, you can establish a social bubble of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. Keep in mind that you can’t have multiple bubbles, so if you add someone outside your household, you have to include anyone in their household as well. 

If you are meeting someone new- there are a lot of ways to start and develop a relationship with technology. Try watching the same movie or cooking the same meal and eating together over facetime. Send voice notes instead of texts so you can hear each other. You can also take the next steps in your relationship virtually by sexting, or phone or online sex. If you do decide to meet up IRL, any first dates should be two metres apart. Whether it takes place indoors or outdoors will be up to the people on the date and their comfort levels.

Do your own screening to protect yourself by asking potential partners about symptoms of infection or potential exposures. Approach this conversation the same way you would talk about sexually transmitted diseases before being intimate with someone for the first time: It's a matter-of-fact conversation about your health and that of your potential partners. Before getting physical with a partner, ask them:

  • If they have, or have recently had, symptoms of COVID-19 infection or are at high risk of being exposed to the virus or being a carrier. 

  • Do they have any cold or flu symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath)? Have they travelled anywhere in the past 14 days?

  • Have they been exposed or in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms?

  • Do they work in a profession that exposes them to individuals who may have COVID-19 (eg: healthcare workers)?

This isn’t a one-time conversation, it is important to continue to ask these questions each time you plan on getting up close and physical with someone else.

Skip sex if you or your partner are not feeling well, or have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. If you feel unwell, or even start to feel unwell, avoid kissing, sex or any close contact with others. Follow public health recommendations for isolation & quarantine and contact the appropriate health care provider for the next steps. 

Here are some other ways to lower the chances of being exposed to COVID-19 during sex with others:

  • Consider keeping contact information for your partner(s) so that you can reach them if one of you develops symptoms.

  • Limit alcohol use and other substances so safer decisions can be made.

  • Before and after sex:

    • Wash your body with soap and water.

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    • Wash sex toys thoroughly per the manufacturer’s instructions. Most, but not all, can be cleaned with mild unscented soap and water. Do not share them with multiple partners.

  • Wear a face covering or mask. Heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19.

  • Avoid or limit kissing and saliva exchange.

  • Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact. 

  • Using condoms, lubricants, and dental dams may help to further reduce the chances by minimizing contact with saliva, semen, feces, blood and/or internal genitalia/vaginal fluids during sex.

Don’t forget COVID-19 is not the only infectious agent to think about, continue to use condoms to prevent transmission of sexually-transmitted infections and an effective method of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy

Although relationships and sex do present a risk during a pandemic, emotional and physical connections can be essential to your overall wellbeing. Assess the risks of dating or having sex the same way you have assessed the risks of going to the grocery store. We should not downplay the importance of human connection because relationships are what help us stay mentally sane through these strange and challenging times.

 

Lindsey Wachter, R.Kin

Health and Wellness Promoter

 

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