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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

We must rise again, says Dr Luescher
2016-05-04

Description: 2016 05 04 Dr Luescher sml Tags: 2016 05 04 Dr Luescher
Dr Thierry Luescher, Assistant Director of University of the Free State Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, was one of the guest speakers at the first TEDxUFS event of the year on the Bloemfontein Campus. Here he is explaining where the #movements started, and how to change the way we think. Photo: Marli du Plessis.

The student protests, known as the #MustFall movements, started on 9 March 2015, when students protested in a well-rehearsed manner at the Cecil John Rhodesstatue at the University of Cape Town. After this protest, students all over South Africa started their own movements from #OpenStellies to #SwartsMustFall, the latter happening on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in March 2016. But, as Dr Thierry Luescher, Assistant Director of UFS Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, says: “We shall soon run out of #MustFalls. Maybe it is time that we rise again.”

The first TEDxUFS was held on Friday 15 April 2016 at the New Education Building on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS. Dr Luescher shone light on the way we look at hashtag movements. At the conference, he was one of the guest speakers who shared their perspectives on the theme of #ImpossibleIsNothing. The others were Ndumiso Hadebe, and Fezile Sonkwane.

Changing angles

No matter what the issue, whether it is on a campus or not, the same reaction can be expected by all: they burn things to get attention. In retrospect, this is our political culture. This is what we have been told to do if we need answers. There is a much faster and cheaper way to attract people’s attention: the hashtag movements, says Dr Luescher.

Stop the fire

He argues that we should stop burning down buildings and vandalising properties. What we need is people with intellect to use their words. We, as students, have to take back our voice. We need to stop this self-pitying, and take a stand.

Students have the power to change lives. We would be able to reach as many as 1.4 million people with our tweets or instagram accounts. According to Dr Luescher, the time for violence has come to an end.

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