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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

UFS plays leading role in implementing curriculum for deaf learners
2013-08-15

 

Minister Angie Motshekga (front left) joined by members of the South African Sign Language task team. Behind Minister Motshekga’s shoulder is Dr Philemon Akach.
15 August 2013

South African Sign Language (SASL) will soon be offered as a school subject to Grade 0–12 learners in all 42 schools for the deaf in South Africa. Our Department of South African Sign Language had a role to play in this significant development that will empower deaf learners in South Africa and the continent.

Dr Philemon Akach, Head of the Department of South African Sign Language at the UFS, is part of the nine-member task team that recently handed over the SASL curriculum to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga. The curriculum will be offered as a home language in all schools from 2014 and Grade 12 learners will be able to write it as a final-year examination subject.

Dr Akach – a member of the task team since 2009 – helped to coordinate the development of the curriculum.

The implementation of the curriculum means a lot to the Department of South African Sign Language, Dr Akach says. “We have championed the linguistic needs of the deaf community ever since we became the first university to offer SASL as an academic course, not only in South Africa, but also on the continent.”

Dr Akach says most Education students are already taking SASL as subject in his department, equipping them as prospective teachers to make implementation of the curriculum a smooth one. “Given our expertise, we will train teachers in the field and be involved in the setting and moderation of exam papers. The University of the Free State is no doubt a leader in this field.”

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