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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

Plant researcher receives prestigious Grain SA award
2016-10-21

Description: Plant researcher receives prestigious Grain SA award Tags: Plant researcher receives prestigious Grain SA award

Prof Zakkie Pretorius from the UFS Department
of Plant Sciences with Andries Theron,
vice-chairman of Grain SA. Theron presented
the award to Prof Pretorius at Grain SA’s a
nnual gala event, which was held in Midrand
this year.
Photo (read more): Supplied
Photo (spotlight): Charl Devenish

A researcher in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Zakkie Pretorius, received the prestigious Grain Producer of the Year Inspiration Award during the annual gala event of Grain SA. Grain SA provides strategic commodity support and services to South African grain producers to assist in the sustainability of the sector.

This award is presented to individuals or organisations in appreciation of excellent contributions to the grain industry. These individuals have also achieved extraordinary results in their respective fields.

Research in the interest of food security
Prof Pretorius has been involved in research on plant diseases and food crops for the past 38 years. His research focus, rust diseases in crops, is especially important for food security.  

According to Prof Pretorius, who collaborates with an extensive network of specialist colleagues, his research covers a variety of topics including rust race identification, the discovery of new resistance genes, characterisation of resistance expression in plants, and the mapping of genes. His focus is not only on wheat, but he also researches rust diseases in oats, barley, maize, dry beans, lentils, sunflowers, and soybeans.

Breeding of rust-resistant varieties gains scientific basis
Locally, he has been contracted for several years by the Winter Grain Trust to annually evaluate commercial wheat cultivars and elite germplasm. This information is regularly passed on to the relevant seed companies and breeders, and is also included in the production guidelines of the Agricultural Research Council for disease risk assessment. His research places the breeding and selection of rust-resistant varieties on a solid scientific foundation. A living collection of rust fungus cultures and a large germplasm collection are maintained at the UFS under his supervision.

 

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