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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

Research at the UFS on the acceptability and modern use of earth building in newly settled urban areas can help the poorest of the poor to acquire hou
2003-08-26

The University of the Free State and the Technische Universiteit van Eindhoven in the Netherlands received a research bursary of R316 000 from SANPAD (South African Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development).

The aim of the research is to determine the public acceptability of sustainable, high quality, earth constructed public and private buildings as an alternative to the conventional way of building with bricks and steel.

“European countries like the Netherlands are far advanced with studies in earth construction and this is why the partnership was formed with the Technische Universiteit van Eindhoven,” says Prof Das Steÿn, Head of Urban and Regional Planning at the UFS and project leader.

Although research regarding mapping, typology and availability of natural and local resources has been done on a national level, little research has been done on the acceptability and the modern use of earth building in newly settled urban areas.

“South Africa has a large housing shortage and traditional methods such as earth building techniques are not used in urban informal housing. Preference is given to corrugated iron sheets and plastic,” says Prof Steÿn.

The use of upgraded earth construction might be more sustainable as far as the environment and the economy is concerned. “If we can make a breakthrough in the development and propagating of these methods it will help the poorest of the poor to acquire housing of a better quality.”

The research team from the UFS consists of Prof Steÿn, Ms Petria Jooste-Smit, Head of the Unit for Earth Construction in the Department of Architecture and Mr Gerhard Bosman of the Department of Architecture.
 

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