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07 June 2018 Photo Supplied
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

We show our colours in support of autism awareness
2012-04-11

The Main Building on our Bloemfontein Campus will be illuminated in blue till the end of April to show support for autism awareness.
Photo: René-Jean van der Berg
12 April 2012

The Main Building on our Bloemfontein Campus will be illuminated in blue till the end of April to show our support for autism awareness, together with the rest of the world.

April is Autism Awareness Month and various iconic landmarks worldwide will be lit up in blue to honour those with autism.

Autism is one of only three conditions that are commemorated by the World Health Organisation.

Autism is a neurological condition that can be diagnosed in children as young as three years old. Worldwide one out of every 100 children is diagnosed within the autistic spectrum. This means that in South Africa a child is born with autism every hour and in the Free State some 400 children per year are born with the condition.

“Despite the high prevalence of autism in South Africa, South Africans know very little about it,” says Dr. David Griessel, an autism expert of the UFS’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. “Stories and films that attempt to portray autistic characters often create the wrong impression among the public concerning this complex illness. This distorts the reality since every child with autism is unique,” says Dr. Griessel.

He says it is important that all children with signs of autism are referred for evaluation as early intervention can prevent autism from further disrupting normal development.

Therapists and teachers who specialise in autism-specific treatment play an important role in this regard.

“However, there are no well-established services for toddlers in the Free State. Fortunately, there are classes developing in schools such as Lettie Fouché, Willem Postma and Pholoho, as well as in Kroonstad and Welkom. The Free State Autism Association has established a private school that offers a service to seven learners.”

For more information on autism in children or for information on special projects in the Free State, contact Dr. Griessel at +27(0)51 405 53177 or +27(0)51 405 3181.

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