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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

SRC raises over R1 million for UFS underprivileged students
2016-01-18

R1.2 million has been raised by the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Student Representative Council (SRC) under the Right to Learn (R2L) campaign banner.

The SRC launched the R2L campaign on 30 October 2015,following the first wave of the #FeesMustFall movement protests against a proposed increase in tuition fees. The campaign was initiated to ensure that academically-deserving underprivileged students do not have to bear the brunt of deregistration, food insecurity, and the lack of textbooks.

To date, the student leaders have taken it upon themselves to appeal to lecturers, businesses, the community, and students alike to support its campaign. Each SRC member pledged R500 from their own purses when the campaign was launched.

Looking back at the #FeesMustFall movement

To the #FeesMustFall movement, which had gained momentum and resulted in a shutdown of many campuses across the country, President Jacob Zuma responded with a statement announcing a 0 % increase.

At the launch of the campaign, Lindokuhle Ntuli, the UFS SRC President, made a commitment to source financial aid for needy students.

“Even though the president said no fees will increase this year, we are still faced with the same challenges. No students who qualify should be de-registered this year. It is up to us to raise funds for the poor students to ensure that they get their right to education.”

Forward to the future: #AccessMustRise

By 4 April 2016, the SRC’s goal is to accumulate financial relief worth R5 million to counter the growing financial aid demand.

Given that more South Africans are extending a helping hand, the SRC President is adamant about gathering the sponsorships in two months. “It is possible if we push to market the campaign to gather R4.8 million,” said Ntuli.

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