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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

Degree in Forensic Science for 2014
2013-08-16

16 August 2013

A BSc degree in Forensic Science will be presented for the first time at the University of the Free State (UFS) from 2014. It is also the first degree of its kind to be presented in South Africa.

According to the Department of Genetics in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences the three-year degree is, among others, aimed at people working on crime scenes and on criminal cases in the SA Police Service and in forensic laboratories. At postgraduate level, students can specialise in a variety of forensic fields up to PhD.

A maximum of 80 students will be selected for admission to the course in 2014. Entrance requirements are an admission point of at least 34, as well as a combined minimum point of 17 for Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physical Science. Applications for 2014 close on 30 September 2013. About 700 to 800 new appointments were advertised in this field by the SAPS in the past two years.

The UFS has been offering an honours programme in Forensic Genetics since 2010.

The new course comes at a time when the Government is taking significant steps to eradicate crime in South Africa. At the first conference of the SA Police Service’s National Forensic Service in July 2013, it was reported that milliards of rand are spent to establish an integrated, modernised, well-manned and well-managed criminal justice system. New laboratories are already operational and more laboratories are planned, including one in each province.

The so-called DNA Bill is likely to be approved by Parliament before the end of 2013. Under this bill, all current schedule-1 criminals and suspected criminals will be obliged to provide DNA samples. This information will be stored in a DNA database.

According to the SAPS’ Serial Unit, approximately 1 300 serial killers are currently active in South Africa and the DNA database can be helpful to bring these and other criminals to book. About 80% of all crimes are committed by about 20% of the criminals.

More information on the Forensic Science degree can be found at forensics@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 9680 or +27(0)51 401 2776.

 

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication

Telephone: +27 (0) 51 401 2584
Cellphone: +27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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