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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

Expert in Africa Studies debunks African middle class myth
2016-05-10

Description: Prof Henning Melber Tags: Prof Henning Melber

From left: Prof Heidi Hudson, Director of the Centre for Africa Studies (CAS), Joe Besigye from the Institute of Reconciliation and Social Justice, and Prof Henning Melber, Extraordinary Professor at the CAS and guest lecturer for the day.
Photo: Valentino Ndaba

Until recently, think tanks from North America, the African Development Bank, United Nations Development Plan, and global economists have defined the African middle class based purely on monetary arithmetic. One of the claims made in the past is that anyone with a consumption power of $2 per day constitutes the middle class. Following this, if poverty is defined as monetary income below $1.5 a day, it means that it takes just half a dollar to reach the threshold considered as African middle class.

Prof Henning Melber highlighted the disparities in the notion of a growing African middle class in a guest lecture titled A critical anatomy of the African middle class(es), hosted by our Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) at the University of the Free State on 4 May 2016. He is an Extraordinary Professor at the Centre, as well as Senior Adviser and Director Emeritus of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Sweden.

Prof Melber argued that it is misleading to consider only income when identifying the middle class. In his opinion, such views were advanced by promoters of the global neo-liberal project. “My suspicion is that those who promote the middle class  discourse in that way, based on such a low threshold, were desperate to look for the success story that testifies to Africa rising.”

Another pitfall of such a middle-class analysis is its ahistorical contextualisation. This economically-reduced notion of the class is a sheer distortion. Prof Melber advised analysts to take cognisance of factors, such as consumption patterns, lifestyle, and political affiliation, amongst others.

In his second lecture for the day, Prof Melber dealt withthe topic of: Namibia since independence: the limits to Liberation, painting the historical backdrop against which the country’s current government is consolidating its political hegemony. He highlighted examples of the limited transformation that has been achieved since Namibia’s independence in 1990.

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