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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

English, Afrikaans, Sotho, and Zulu part of first Literature Festival
2016-08-11

Description: Literature Festival  Tags: Literature Festival

The first Literature Festival was a huge success, attracting
young and old during this year’s Vrystaat Arts Festival held
at the University of the Free State.
Photo: Leopold Frechow

It may have been the inaugural year of the Vrystaat Literature Festival, but, with the success of this year’s event, there are bound to be many more.

Main purpose of the festival

Acting Director of Student Affairs at the University of the Free State (UFS), Cornelia Faasen says: “The main purpose of the festival is to celebrate the South African literary scene as a multi-lingual, multi-cultural landscape, and to bring prominent writers to the UFS in order to open dialogues and discussions with them.”

Because of the students’ role in the arts and culture in general, the Department of Student Affairs wanted them to be involved in the festival too.

Contribution from African writers

Both local and international guests were involved. This year’s theme, “Our Africa”, attracted many African writers too.

Some of these writers include Chika Unigwe, originally from Nigeria, who rose to fame in Belgium, and the Iranian author, Kader Abdolah, a political refugee who escaped from Iran to the Netherlands in the 1980s. Wilfried N’Sondé, originally from the Republic of the Congo, and now living in France, was also a festival guest.

Festival offers something for everyone

Several authors celebrated literature in English. In addition to this, Afrikaans books and writers were featured alongside other indigenous languages, such as Sotho and Zulu.

Faasen says that she hopes that this festival will be the first of many. “We are hoping that this event will find its own legs with more students and academic staff from the UFS involved.”

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