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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

UFS’s Unit for Children’s Rights instrumental in helping human trafficked victim
2010-03-29

Adv. Beatri Kruger.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
“Wheeling and dealing is part of our daily life. But what if the ‘product’ bought or sold is not a spanner or a cell phone, but a living human being? Disturbing news came to the fore... apart from other places in the country, and for that matter all over the world, it was discovered that people are treated like commodities here in Bloemfontein as well,” said Adv. Beatri Kruger from the Unit for Children’s Rights at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Adv. Kruger was instrumental in completing and availing the first comprehensive Research Report on Human Trafficking in South Africa to the public on 23 March 2010. As a member of the Reference Group advising on interim research reports on human trafficking, she contributed to the report. The report proves to be an extremely valuable tool for, among others, government departments and non-governmental organisations that use it as a guideline in planning interventions to combat human trafficking.

The Unit for Children’s Rights is also one of the founding members of the Free State Human Trafficking Forum (FHF). To react on and fight the disturbing reality of human trafficking more efficiently, a number of concerned role players such as Child Welfare and other non-governmental organisations, police officials, prosecutors, social workers, health practitioners, private businesses, churches and community organisations joined forces and formed the FHF. The Unit for Children’s Rights hosts monthly meetings at the UFS to facilitate the coordination of this multi-disciplinary counter-trafficking team.

Adv. Kruger is very excited about some of the successes of the FHF; such as the story of Soma (not her real name). This Indian woman was recruited in India by an Indian couple who are staying in South Africa, by promising her a good job in South Africa. However, instead of finding the promised job, Soma was extensively exploited for labour purposes. With the help of a “good Samaritan” she managed to escape from the perpetrators and fled to the police. Soma was removed to ensure her safety and accommodated in a safe place in Bloemfontein. Counselling and other services were rendered to her by an organisation which is also a member of the FHF. One of the challenges facing Soma and the service providers was that Soma speaks a foreign dialect and for weeks a trusted interpreter could not be found.

This obstacle rendered communication with her to the bare minimum. The perpetrators were arrested but unfortunately the new comprehensive counter-trafficking law is not in force yet. Therefore the perpetrators could only be convicted of some offences in the Immigration Act. However, due to good police investigation followed by shrewd consultations, the perpetrators agreed to pay for the victim’s return flight to India as well as for the flight ticket of the investigating officer to escort her to safety. The Unit for Children’s Rights did networking with Ms Maria Nikolovska of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), who agreed to assist in the safe reintegration of Soma in India. Soma is now on her way back home.

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