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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

Afrikaans Language Day invites greater university community to celebrate the language
2015-08-26

On 14 August 2015, the Vuur en Vlam Committee hosted an event which provided the university community the opportunity to celebrate Afrikaans Language Day. The occasion celebrated the establishment of the language in South Africa. With the unexpected arrival of the Dutch in 1652, the language transition proved a struggle for the indigenous peoples domiciled on African soil.

The committee’s primary objective was to change existing cultural connotations associated with the Afrikaans language.  The use of diversity can help undermine the African stereotype held about the Afrikaans language, and thus bring about a mindset shift. It is important to remember that not all Afrikaans speakers are white, and emphasis is rarely directed to the diversity of Afrikaans speakers.

Approaching the celebration, a sensitive discussion around the Afrikaans language was hosted, in which various panel members discussed the state and current outlook of the language. Prof André Keet, Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, who was part of the panel said, “No language gets to be misused to maintain the privilege of the past.” Director of the Free State Arts Festival, Ricardo Peach, shared the notion that “We must build on what we have, and not break it down,” while he describes himself as a “polluted language boer”. While there is a strongly-expressed hatred for the Afrikaans language, Peach maintained further that there is much work to be done in order to “Break down the link between the language and the Holocaust which took place in the homes of Afrikaans people.”

Lindiwe Kumalo, chairperson of the Vuur en Vlam Committee, said: “We are creating an awareness around campus that Afrikaans is not dead. Once you know the language, you can interact with other people, and there is no longer that language barrier.” Amongst other things, the event encouraged dialogue by creating fun and interactive activities which exposed visitors to the language.

The Vuur en Vlam Committee is committed to creating an awareness of, and vibrancy around, the Afrikaans language, and to engaging the broader university community.

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