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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

UFS Faculty of Theology hosts expert on African Traditional Religion (ATR)
2016-05-20

Description: African Traditional Religion  Tags: African Traditional Religion

Dr Nokuzola Mndende, Prof Fanie Snyman (Dean of the Faculty of Theology), and Dr Luvuyo Ntombana (Department Head: Religion Studies)

Dr Nokuzola Mndende, an acclaimed theologian, researcher, and practitioner of African Traditional Religion (ATR), is often called upon in the media to offer her expert opinion or participate in interfaith panel discussions. Thanks to an initiative from the postgraduate diploma class in the Faculty of Theology and the efforts of Dr Luvuyo Ntombana (Department Head: Religion Studies; Faculty of Theology), Dr Mndende accepted an invitation to present her paper, “From the periphery to the centre: African Traditional Religion in a democratic state”, on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). In his opening remarks, Dr Ntombana stated that he was heartened by his students’ desire to be “co-workers in knowledge production” by engaging with Dr Mndende.

Dr Mndende’s contention is that African Traditional Religion (ATR) was suppressed throughout colonial times, and, despite a 22-year-old democracy, continues to be moved to “beyond the periphery” by what she terms “spiritual subsets”; those who strive to amalgamate their African Traditional Religion rituals with the practices of Christianity. Quoting statistics from a 1995 survey by the SABC, she stated that ATR is a minority in its birthplace (with only 5% representation), and posed the question: “If ATR is a minority in its place of birth, where is it a majority?” Her presentation put forward the need to study and interpret ATR introspectively, but acknowledged that more “homework” would be needed in this regard.

Dr Mndende thanked the university, Dr Ntombana, and the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof Fanie Snyman, for inviting her, and expressed a desire for the relationship with the UFS to continue.

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