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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

New Division of Virology to deliver crucial services for HIV diagnosis and resistance testing
2015-12-14

The establishment of a Division of Virology within the Department of Medical Microbiology, under the joint auspices of the UFS and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), reflects the continued growth within Virology.  Dr Dominique Goedhals, Head of the Division, says the division will also provide training of undergraduate medical students, medical technologists and technicians, and registrars.

The newly established Division of Virology at the University of the Free State will be one of only five laboratories in the country to be involved in crucial diagnostic and testing services for HIV viral load monitoring, early infant diagnosis, and HIV resistance testing.

The Virology Diagnostic Laboratory serves as the reference laboratory for all HIV National Priority Programme samples for the Free State and Northern Cape provinces.

Medical staff at the laboratory will provide a 24-hour consultative service, as well as outreach programmes to district laboratories in the Free State and Northern Cape where pathologists are not available. 

Dr Dominique Goedhals, Head of the Division of Virology, says this division, under the joint auspices of the UFS and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), reflects the continued growth within Virology.

The division will not only deliver this critical diagnostic service, but will also focus on training and teaching, as well as research.

Teaching and training activities include teaching of undergraduate medical students, medical technologists and technicians, and registrars.  The postgraduate science programme has a high output of honours, master’s and doctoral students in Virology.  The intern medical scientist programme is also active, with five interns having successfully submitted their portfolios since the programme was implemented in 2010.

Research activities under the Head of Research, Prof Felicity Burt, have also expanded and continue to show increases in publication output and acquisition of grant funding.  Established research groups within the Division of Virology focus on vector-borne and zoonotic viruses, human papilloma viruses (HPV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as work with a number of international collaborators.


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