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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

Tswelopele hosts first LGBTQI panel discussion
2016-10-05

Description: LGBTQI  Tags: LGBTQI

Tshepang Mahlatsi, Zane Thela, Dionne van
Reenen, Dr Thierry Luescher and Galeletsang
Soato, at the Brotherhood with no Limit panel
discussion held at Tswelopele residence on
the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Supplied

Ignorance about issues relating to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community is a threat to mankind. This is according to Tshepang Mahlatsi, former Prime of Tswelopele residence, regarding LGBTQI concerns at University of the Free State (UFS).

House Tswelopele on the Bloemfontein Campus hosted a panel discussion, Brotherhood with no Limit, on 19 September 2016 to discuss issues affecting the LGBTQI community, which has often been on the receiving end of criticism, hate speech and bigotry.

Academics take stance at LGBTQI discussion

The panel, which consisted of staff members and students, opened the discussion to everyone on campus. The panel comprised Zane Thela, Programme Coordinator: Gender and Sexual Equity Office: Student Affairs; Dionne van Reenen, Assistant Researcher; Dr Thierry Luescher, Assistant Director, Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, and Mahlatsi.

Creating a safer environment for LQBTQI dialogue

“The message that we were putting across was simple. We as a house cannot allow society to define our own brothers for us,” Mahlatsi said. The responsibility of students and student leaders was to stand in solidarity. He said it was not fair that in the 21st century people were still fighting to be recognised for who they were and what they identified themselves as. This issue had been discussed at Tswelopele before and it was not that much of an issue, Mahlatsi said. “However, this was the first formal one [discussion] where we had speakers who are more informed on the topic.”

The panel discussion also aimed to challenge other residences that still do not allow such talks to take place in a safe environment.

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