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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

Community Engagement Indaba a platform to engage Free State community stakeholders
2017-01-04

Description: Community Engagement Indaba  Tags: Community Engagement Indaba  

Gender empowerment meets an all-women’s team
of UFS and UCT law students wanting to learn from the
South African judicial system and be ready to fight the
crimes of rape and domestic violence. From the left are:
Robin van Wyk and Rotondwa Mulaudzi, both from UCT,
and Thando Mokaulezi from the UFS.

The University of the Free State (UFS), through the office of Community Engagements, and in collaboration with Bloemshelter has hosted the Community Engagemen Indaba in Bloemfontein since 2013. This is a platform where stakeholders in business, welfare and other community organisations can network and hold dialogues that can bring about solutions to some of the societal challenges faced by Free State communities.

Bloemshelter is an independent and registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) that provides shelter for the homeless – catering for women, women with children, the elderly, men and frail persons. The shelter accommodates up to 100 people in both the male and female shelters. The growing partnership it has with the UFS over recent years has grown its ability to reach out to local communities in a more effective way.

At the 2016 Community Engagement Indaba, a number of stakeholders were invited to participate in the skills development action-learning workshops, under the theme: Unlocking Human Potential and Creating Jobs.  This was a platform to strengthen the university’s partnerships with NPOs and other advocacy groups in the province. UFS academics, Community Service Learning (CSL) students and community partners gave their presentations while the Director of Community Engagement, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, offered carpentry training.

Those who attended received certificates that will in future help them build a portfolio of learning evidence. The conference was about creating meaning, igniting learning, propelling movement, inspiring hope and encouraging sharing by bringing together students, academics and members of communities.  The next Community Engagement Indaba will be held next year, on a date that will be announced early in the year.

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