Recovery College is holding Adulting 101, a free, online course designed to teach young adults important skills like money management, self care, and boundaries. 

The course starts on Sept. 20 and runs for five, one-hour sessions on Zoom until Oct. 25. 

In the first session, participants will explore what adulting means to them. 

“We talk about what adulting means to the participants, so who do we look up to as an adult, [who] are some adults in our life that we appreciate, and what are the things about them that we appreciate,” explains Sarah Pearson, the Recovery College facilitator. 

The money management session explores the relationship between money and mental health. “We talk about the different emotions that money can make us feel, and we talk about spending habits, good ways to help budget our money,” says Pearson. But the course is a guideline for young adults, explains Pearson, not a strict manual to follow. 

The course also tries to be as inclusive and compassionate to participants as possible. The fourth session teaches about healthy relationships, and Pearson explains that the topic can be triggering for some participants. In the online version of the course, course facilitators have a breakout room available as a safe space for participants who are having a hard time with the topic. 

Another focus of the course is on self-care, and learning the difference between self-care and coping, an important topic during the pandemic. 

The course is aimed at participants ages 16-24, particularly for those who have lived experience with mental health or substance use concerns. But Pearson also notes that “we don’t like to turn anybody away… we certainly encourage [participants] to stay if it’s comfortable for them.” 

Recovery College offers 14 different courses, and they are all free for participants. “The goal… is to engage and connect with as many people as we can,” says Pearson, “and one of the ways that we’re able to do that is offering [courses] for free.” 

Some courses include Confront the Discomfort, which helps participants deal with anxiety; Physically Separated Socially Connected, a course designed to help participants stay connected during the pandemic; and Finding Your Balance, a course geared toward caregivers or people who have a close relationship with someone who struggles with mental illness or substance use. 

While the transition to online learning was initially difficult since course facilitators rely on face-to-face connections, Pearson says Recovery College plans to continue some online programming because of the incredible response. “We’ve had people calling in from Ontario, British Columbia, [and] Manitoba who have been able to take part in our course online that wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise,” says Pearson. 

Another bonus to offering courses online is that “people don’t have to be necessarily in a great headspace to come to the course,” says Pearson. There’s no need to get dressed or take the bus. “[Participants] can just plunk down in their living room in a quiet place with a… nice comfy blanket.” 

“Anybody can take any of the courses if they decide to register for them,” says Pearson. One in five people in Canada experience a mental health concern at some point in their lives, so Pearson is confident that participants will be able to find at least one course that resonates with them. 

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