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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

CDS receives another international grant from the NIH
2015-12-11

 

Dr Carla Sharp

The Centre for Development Support (CDS) is partner to another international research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. The new project follows an earlier project funded by the NIH, which focused on the mental health of orphans and vulnerable children.

The new project is to focus on investigating possible improvements in the mental health and cognitive development of orphaned and vulnerable children aged between seven and eleven years, by means of improved community-based care in the Mangaung Township area in Bloemfontein.  The project will stretch over three years and has a budget of approximately R10 million.

“We shall use the Mediational Intervention of Sensitizing Caregivers (MISC) approach and it will be applied by community-based organisations,” says Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Acting Director of the CDS. 

MISC applied by caregivers has produced good results elsewhere in the world. “This is the first time MISC will be tested by community-based organisations,” says Prof Lochner Marais of the CDS, who is also the principal investigator in South Africa.

“In addition to working with four community-based organisations in Mangaung, Childline Free State will also be actively involved in the project,” Marais added.

The project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr Carla Sharp as principal investigator at the University of Houston, and Prof Michael Boivin (an international expert on MISC) at the Michigan State University. Dr Sharp was recently appointed visiting professor at the CDS. 

“It is indeed a great privilege to be working with the CDS on yet another project,” Dr Sharp remarked, also noting that “the project is preliminary in nature and could evolve into a much bigger research project in future”.

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