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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

Khayalami residence launches first in-house library
2016-04-21

Description: 2016 KL News Khayalami library  Tags: Khayalami residence launches first in-house library in the country
Bongani Mtotoba (left) and Sinoxolo Gcilitshana (right) at the first-ever 24 hour in-house library at Khayalami residence. The librarian and Deputy Residence Head respectively hope to revive the culture of reading on our Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Valentino Ndaba

“It is said that reading means to the brain what exercise means to the body. For that reason, we want to bring back the culture of reading to our students who are, after all, the future replacement of the leadership of our wounded and broken country,” said Sinoxolo Gcilitshana, Deputy Residence Head, and Prime of Khayalami.

Titles such as A Life Ever Lasting by Miranda Hearn, To Live Free by William Wilberforce, Powers of Darkness Powers of Light by John Cornwell, and Character Counts by Charles Dyer are among the 228 inspirational books on the shelves of Khayalami residence’s library. Tuesday 12 April 2016 was a proud moment for the residence as it launched the first library in the country located within a university residence on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State.

Last year, Dimpho Jasa, a resident at Khayalami, approached Sinoxolo, who then held the Residence Committee (RC): Academics portfolio, with an idea of forming a book club. Sinoxolo had suggested that a library be established in order to make the book club sustainable. That conversation served as a foundation of the 24 hour in-house library.

“We started with five books last year,” said Sinoxolo, “and ever since we sent the message out, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen has been supporting us together with the Vice-Rector, Prof Nicky Morgan, as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo, and the Head of the Department of English, Prof Helene Strauss.”  

Now, more than 170 young men have access to a growing library that is expected to hold 1500 books by September, when Sinoxolo steps down as the Prime. According to Bongani Mtotoba, the RC: Academics and librarian, some residents have made pledges to help expand the collection. “The response has been quite positive from the guys,” he said.

Borrowers are required to submit a book review upon returning the book. This feedback will be compiled by the English Department into a book available to the public.

Khayalami’s pioneering spirit has also seen the residence run a successful writing competition in 2015. It has since been introduced to the rest of the East College, and now will take place annually.  

For more information on how to donate books or enter the writing completion, contact Sinoxolo on 0783332203 or semsinoxolo@hotmail.com.

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