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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

Trade unionist brings today’s policy issues to the table
2017-01-02

Description: Sidney Kgara Tags: Sidney Kgara 

Sidney Kgara currently heads the public-sector union of
Nehawu’s Policy Unit
Photo: Supplied

Sidney Kgara was appointed to the University of the Free State (UFS) Council in January 2015. He was appointed to the Council by Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, in one of three such positions.

Sidney heads the public sector union Nehawu's Policy Unit. The National Health Education and Allied Workers Union is the biggest public-sector union and the biggest union in the public service coordinating bargaining council. It therefore stands to reason that researching and drafting policy on issues such as labour market matters, public health and developments in higher education form the core responsibilities of the unit.

No stranger to university governance and leadership

Nehawu has a number of members working at the UFS and before his appointment, Kgara's only contact with the university was through its UFS members. However, he is no stranger to university governance and leadership. He was a student leader at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the 1990s and as a result has a broad understanding of student governance and university issues.

"Even though it was a different time and the circumstances were different, there is some sense of continuity to the issues we had to deal with then, and the issues that the university faces now," he says.

Kgara’s unique and valuable contributions to the Council

This, together with his experience in policy and research, enables Kgara to make a unique and valuable contribution to the Council.

Kgara is an avid reader and stimulating his mind through reading makes him truly happy. He also loves watching sport and enjoys socialising with friends.

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