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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

Conversations of the untold tales of apartheid
2016-08-30

Description: Conversations of the untold tales of apartheid Tags: Conversations of the untold tales of apartheid

Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela leading a dialogue
held at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery with
guest speakers, Candice Mama, Siyah Mgoduka,
and Sue Williamson.

Photo: Johan Roux

The Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past in  the Unit for Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State (UFS) hosted a dialogue between students and guest speakers, Sue Williamson, Candice Mama, and Siyah Mgoduka at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery on the Bloemfontein campus.

The conversation, led by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies at the UFS, touched on students’ direct historical trauma and memory experiences, allowing them to share their contribution to transformation.

Mama and Mgoduka shared their personal experience of how the negative impact apartheid’s fatal events consumed their everyday life. Both their fathers were killed by the apartheid assassin, Eugene de Kock, whom they have met and with whom they have since been reconciled.  Reflecting on this historical memory, both of them agree that meeting their fathers’ killer has changed their lives.

“Forgiveness is a personal journey one
takes in order to let go of bitterness and hate.” 

“Before meeting De Kock, I was bitter, angry, and full of hatred towards him. After that meeting, I became a better person and more engaged, and stopped stereotyping white people,” says Mama.

Mgoduka says, “Forgiveness alone will not work. There needs to be an interest in each other as black and white.”

The dialogue followed the launch of Williamson’s art exhibition, No More Fairytales, held at the Johannes Stegmann Gallery on 18 August 2016. Through a series of interactive pieces, the artwork captures events that led to the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

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