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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

A guide and a friend
2016-12-12

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Louzanne Coetzee and Khothatso Mokone.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Behind every successful Paralympic athlete is a guide, and behind blind athlete Louzanne Coetzee is none other than former Kovsie student Khothatso Mokone.

Mokone, who is a sports journalist and freelance photographer, says he is not entirely sure that his busy schedule is very balanced, but he tries to ensure he squeezes as much as possible into his day. One thing he always makes time for is his training. “As a young person, I try to take every opportunity that comes my way,” he says.

This young runner, who has been Coetzee’s guide for the past eight months, says that every race they have run together thus far has always been better than the last. “The partnership grows harmoniously every day. We talk about almost everything there is, not only running,” Mokone says.

Mokone guided Coetzee in the 1 500m of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in September this year when she was disqualified. 

Mokone, who loves comedy and Dubai, is inspired by SAfm journalist and presenter Ashraf Garda. “He talks a lot about current issues that affect our country and I like his style of presenting. He is a good orator.”

Something people may not know about him is that he always walks around hopeful that the best is yet to come. “When I walk down the street, I walk with confidence and people think I have made it in life not knowing that I only have hope for a better tomorrow,” he says.

Although he is not yet as successful as he would like to be, Mokone encourages the youth to “open their eyes and ears to set realistic goals and work with patience to achieve each goal, whether short or long term”.

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