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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

Triumph in the face of adversity
2016-04-29

Description: Glory NSH Tags: Glory NSH

Glory, one of fourteen NSH bursary recipients during the UFS Autumn Graduations.

At the University of the Free State (UFS) Autumn Graduation Ceremony held from 12-15 April 2016, on the Bloemfontein Campus, a record number of fourteen beneficiaries of the No Student Hungry (NSH) Bursary Programme received their degrees. This is an achievement they all feel they could not have reached, were it not for the support by NSH.

The NSH food bursary is awarded to students on the basis of financial need, academic excellence, and a commitment to serve the community. The UFS has helped over 650 students since 2011, when Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, started NSH.

These students are true beacons of inspiration and determination. Indeed, they have triumphed in the face of adversity. This is what can be said about their determination and will to succeed.

Glory, a previous recipient of the NSH bursary and a mother of two, graduated on Tuesday morning, receiving a BEd degree (intermediate phase). She stated that the NSH bursary changed her life drastically when she started receiving it.

“I used to constantly worry about my children and what they would eat. So I would sacrifice my own meals throughout the day just to make sure they have food to eat,” says Glory.

“The NSH bursary really gave me peace of mind, my school work was suffering and once I started receiving food each day, I could focus on what really mattered: my degree.”

“My goals for this year are to get a permanent job, and start receiving a stable salary. I am currently working as a temporary teacher at a primary school in Bloemfontein.

Description: Katlego NSH Tags: Katlego NSH

Katlego, one of fourteen NSH bursary recipients during the UFS Autumn Graduations.

“I never would have thought that I could have made it this far. I want to pursue my postgraduate studies, to inspire my children and other students who have been in my shoes. There is help and hope. My faith also gave me refuge. Nothing that is given to me is taken for granted,” says Glory.

Another student Katlego, who graduated on 14 April 2016, receiving her BCom Human Resource Management degree. At present, she is busy with her BCom Industrial Psychology Honours. She heard about the NSH food bursary, through a friend in 2014, and has been immensely grateful for all she has received. 

“There is no shame in asking for help. There can only be hope and relief,” she said.

“I am so thankful for NSH. As part of the bursary programme, we commit to serving the community. We receive but we are also encouraged to give back. The community service projects have helped me to get out of my comfort zone, to look beyond myself and acknowledge that I am also required to give back my time to others who appreciate and cherish it.”   

The NSH students are offered not only a food bursary; they participate in student wellness and development programmes, and they are motivated and exposed to opportunities for personal growth. Students are also encouraged to be involved in university or community projects as a way of ploughing back into the community, thus creating a reciprocal cycle of giving and receiving within their community.

 

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