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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

University Assembly focuses on symbols, policies, practices, and curricula
2015-04-30

On Tuesday 28 April 2015, the University of the Free State (UFS) held a University Assembly in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus, which served as a space for critical engagement among staff and students to focus on issues such as symbols, policies, practices, and curricula.

The Assembly, attended by executive and senior management, members of the UFS Council and the President of the UFS Convocation, was also streamed live to the Qwaqwa and South Campuses.

The aim of the Assembly was to deal with above-mentioned issues as transformative strategies for creating a university culture that supports its Human and Academic Projects, as embedded in responsible citizenship, human dignity, and democratic participation.

In light of inclusivity, all staff and students were invited to table their views and submit it for discussion at the assembly, to be forwarded later as recommendations to the various decision-making structures of the UFS.

A total of 12 submissions were made at the Assembly. These submissions focused on the following issues:

• The Transformative power of sport at the UFS
• Four submissions on Language Policy – whether to include other languages or going onward to be an all English institution.
• Curriculum: Substance of what we teach
• Experiences of our first-years
• Four submissions on: Statues and symbols
• The Student Representative Council’s (SRC’s) responsibility and structure.

The UFS Management considers the above-mentioned submissions, as well as the University Assembly of 28 April 2015, as the beginning of a comprehensive process to stimulate discourse about these issues on various platforms of the university.

The discussions are in an early stage and no decisions have been taken yet. Final recommendations on the issues will be submitted to the normal decision-making structures of the university, such as the Rectorate, Senate, and Institutional Forum, after which it will ultimately be presented to the UFS Council for approval.

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