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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

Short course in Applied Conservation Genetics developed at UFS
2014-08-22

 

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

During discussions with stakeholders in Kenya in 2013, a need was identified for training in conservation genetics with an African emphasis. In answer, Prof Paul Grobler from the Department of Genetics developed a short course in Applied Conservation Genetics.

Some of the phenomena studied in this field include:
• hybridisation between species such as blue wildebeest and black wildebeest,
• wildlife poaching and
• potential inbreeding in small game-farm populations.

From the onset, the course has been developed as an international venture. To this end, Dr Frank Zachos from the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, committed himself to the project. Dr Jamie Roberts from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech University in the USA also came on board. Both pledged their time and expertise to the course – without any financial gain.

Subsequently, our Department of Genetics presented this short course at the National Zoological Gardens (NZG) in Pretoria earlier this year. The team of presenters included Prof Grobler, Dr Zachos and Dr Roberts. They were joined by Dr Desire Dalton from the Research Division of the NZG, who added valuable practical experience to the presentations.

The course assumes a degree of prior knowledge of population and molecular genetics. A strong emphasis is placed on practical applications. The programme includes a strong component of statistics and hands-on training in the many approaches and software used in population genetics.

The group that attended the course included a contingent from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Dutch postgraduate students currently working at the University of Johannesburg and delegates from across South Africa.

This successful meeting followed an experimental first round of the course presented in Nairobi during 2013, attended by representatives from Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Mexico and Belgium.


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