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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

Groundwater management vital for groundwater sustainability
2016-11-09

Description: Dr Yolanda Kotzé Tags: Dr Yolanda Kotzé

Dr Yolanda Kotzé, Affiliated Researcher in the
UFS Institute for Groundwater Studies, is passionate
about the management of groundwater.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

An interest in groundwater resource management ignited the spark for a PhD research thesis by Dr Yolanda Kotzé, Affiliated Researcher in the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Her PhD research thesis titled, A Framework for Groundwater Use Authorisations as Part of Groundwater Governance in Water Scarce Areas within South Africa, was the result of her interest in groundwater resource management. Dr Kotzé identified the agricultural sector as one of the major water users, and a decision was made to conduct research within this sector.  

Research funded by Institute for Groundwater Studies
Groundwater is water found underground in cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and rocks. It is stored in, and moves slowly through geological formations of soil, sand, and rocks (aquifers). The National Department of Water and Sanitation was indirectly the client for this research. The research project was funded by the IGS. Given the current drought, effective groundwater resource management can be achieved within all sectors through sustainable abstraction and use without over-abstraction.

“Groundwater can be effectively managed
in the agricultural sector by sustainable use,
monitoring the quantity of groundwater use,
and measuring groundwater levels,”
said Dr Kotzé.

Research addresses improvement of groundwater management
Her promotor, mentor, teacher, and friend, the late Prof Gerrit van Tonder, introduced her to the field of Geohydrology, and especially to groundwater resource management. “With my research, I made a significant contribution to the improvement of groundwater governance and groundwater resource management, as well as to the handling of groundwater use authorisations for irrigation purposes in South Africa,” said Dr Kotzé. With this significant contribution, she attempts to address the phenomenon of poor groundwater allocation and groundwater resource management by means of a framework. The development of this framework has shown the value of action research in an attempt to find a solution to a problem. “Groundwater can be effectively managed in the agricultural sector by sustainable use, monitoring the quantity of groundwater use, and measuring groundwater levels,” said Dr Kotzé.

The methodology of the research consisted primarily of action research, which has a five-phase cyclical process. The research was Dr Kotzé’s application for a PhD in Geohydrology at the UFS in 2012. The research was completed in 2015.

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