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14 June 2018 Photo Supplied
Next Chapter Green Ribbon campaign addresses mental health
Members of Next Chapter and UFS Student counselling are working together to address mental health issues.

Next Chapter, a student support group at the UFS presented the Green Ribbon campaign, pledging their support to students and providing them with assistance in coping with life events that stimulate stress and contribute negatively to their mental health. The team aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health care, and continually assist students with mental health-related issues that they struggle with daily.

The Green Ribbon represents mental health awareness, which is a pressing matter for students and is the type of support students need in a stressful university environment. The campaign focuses on teaching students how to cope with life events that stimulate stress, and contribute negatively to their mental health.
 
A discussion by Dr Ancel George: practising clinical psychologist and lecturer from the UFS Department of Psychology, and Dr Mellissa Barnaschone: Director of UFS Student Counselling, took place, where talks were prominent about creating an inclusive environment for UFS students.

The panel shared a few tips on how students should work towards managing stress, and motivated them for the main mid-year examinations.
 
The follow-up Exam Cram Workshop, presented by Nadia Cloete and Lize Wolmarans, that combined time and stress management, took place on 2 June 2018, and saw students receiving advice on how to approach various issues during the examination period.
 
Mental health awareness does not end with the campaign and Next Chapter’s slogan “Your story continues” encourages students to regularly wear and commemorate the green ribbon in support of continual mental healthcare.
 
Should you have any enquiries or input for the ongoing campaign, contact the Next Chapter team on ufsnextchapter@gmail.com, or further email Tshepang Mahlatsi, founder of Next Chapter on tshepangmahlatsi767@gmail.com

News Archive

Official opening of Faculty of Health Sciences Rural Community Initiative
2017-01-01

Description: Karla Mostert Tags: Mail & Guardian, 200 Young South Africans, Candice Thikeson, Karla Mostert, Lerato Machetela, Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Thapelo Mokoatsi

Ribbon cutting, Prof van Zyl and Ms du Plessis
Venter (community member)

The Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of the Free State (UFS) has, as part of its commitment to student and community development, established a student residence in the town of Trompsburg in the Kopanong Local municipality, Xhariep District municipality in the Southern Free State. The Faculty officially opened the Faculty of Health Sciences Rural Community Initiative on 14 and 15 June 2017. The memorial plaque was unveiled by Prof Gert van Zyl (Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences) and Prof Francis Petersen (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State)

The importance of the residence

The goal of the ‘Kopanang le fodise – Unite to heal’ programme is to develop a community-centered collaborative framework for sustainable, holistic healthcare and social development incorporated in the curricula of the Faculty.

Background of the project

During 2016 a total of 324 fourth-year students of the Faculty have each spend at least a week in interprofessional groups in primary healthcare facilities in the Kopanong municipality on a Community Based Education, Interprofessional Education (CBE-IPE) platform in Trompsburg and Springfontein.

To facilitate student rural placement the former Midway guesthouse currently includes seven (7) facilitator units with on suite bathrooms, two (2) fully equipped lecture facilities, a recreation room and a library with computers and internet access. The newly developed student residence has 10 apartments that can each accommodate six (6) individuals. A housemaster resides on the premises and acts as manager of the facility. All areas of the residence are Wifi covered and 24h security service is in place.

The ceremony was attend by the following partners

University of the Free State (UFS)

Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen.
Members of the UFS council, Dr Vinger and Dr Swart
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof van Zyl.
The Head of the School of Allied Health Professions, Dr van Vuuren.
The Head of the School of Medicine, Prof Kruger.
Faculty from the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Members from UFS institutional support department: ICT, Finance, Facilities management

Kopanong local municipality

Councilor Basholo, representing the Kopanong local municipality.
Kopanong local community members
Free State Department of Education (DoE)
Free State Department of Health (DoH)

Private sector partners

Mr Burgess, CEO of MDG Heath Solutions
The Mother And Child Academic Hospital (MACAH) represented by Prof Venter, head of department of Paediatrics, donated two (2) state of the art baby scales to the rural health programme.

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