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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

Childhood passion becomes a successful career
2016-12-19

Description: Dr Thapelo Makae Tags: Dr Thapelo Makae 

Dr Makae took up his studies at the South Campus
of the UFS, and now serves as a community vet in Tshwane.
Photo: Anja Aucamp


Dr Thapelo Makae’s youthful passion has been a driving force in his chosen career. He says: “Like any veterinarian, my love for animals started from childhood. Growing up, I always asked myself why animals didn’t have doctors like we kids did, when our pets fell ill or died.” While veterinary services were unknown where he was raised in the Phelindaba location in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, Dr Makae started doing his own research as early as Standard 1 (Grade 3). He affirms, “I’ve always wanted to help these creatures that, it seemed, no one could help.”

Having started his academic journey on the South Campus in the CPP (as the University Preparation Programme was then known), Dr Makae obtained an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, later completing an honours degree in Agriculture. “It was at this stage,” he says, “that I was recruited by Prof Johan Greyling and the late Dr Luis Schwalbach. With their support, I completed my MSc Agric, besides having the opportunity to be a junior lecturer in Animal Physiology. Dr Schwalbach was my supervisor, my mentor, and a veterinarian himself, and I worked very closely with him. He encouraged me to pursue my passion and the dream to go ahead and study Veterinary Medicine.”

Realising that dream, Dr Makae is now employed at the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as a community veterinarian. Among his many responsibilities, he is charged with serving the communities of the Tshwane Metro, where he visits farmers, assisting them with health and vaccination plans, and providing advice to help them develop their skills.

Dr Makae also seeks opportunities to pass on his dream. “What I am most passionate about is going to schools and giving talks to schoolchildren, especially those from previously disadvantaged communities, who might not know much about Veterinary Medicine,” he says.

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