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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

The impact of personal care products on water resources in the Free State
2015-12-14

Jou-an Chen
Photo: Charl Devenish

Water is of the utmost importance in personal hygiene. Most people can hardly have a day go by without taking a shower in the morning and at night. However, it is this very habit that is increasingly polluting the water resources in South Africa.

Contaminants found in pharmaceutical and personal care products have been accumulating in water masses in recent years. These contaminants especially refer to hormones in medication, as well as colouring agents and fragrances used in soap, shampoo and body lotions.

“Little information and data are available on the prevalence of these contaminants, and on how high the level of pollution really is,” says Jou-an Chen, researcher in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology at the UFS.

Her research particularly focuses on the prevalence and impact of those contaminants.

“Because these substances have not been properly investigated, we are not sure how widely it occurs and whether it is harmful to the environment. It was precisely the lack of information that has inspired me to investigate further.”

“If we could identify the contaminants and what it is doing to the environment, it could make a valuable contribution to directives on water quality standards.”


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