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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

Freedom of religion, a constitutional right and area of global concern
2017-01-17

 Description: Prof Shaun de Freitas Tags: Prof Shaun de Freitas

Prof Shaun de Freitas
Photo: Mamosa Makaya





Freedom of religion is enshrined in the South African Constitution, states that everyone has the right to freedom of religion, which more specifically entails the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. It makes provision for the protection of religious communities in South Africa. Consequently, the maintenance and protection of such a right is of fundamental importance.

Prof Shaun de Freitas, Associate Professor of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) specialises in constitutional law, with a specific focus on the right to freedom of religion, and has produced several publications in the field. The latest is titled “Transcending the Private-Public School Divide in the Context of the Right to Freedom of Religion in South Africa”, Chapter 19, in Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa – Prospects and Limitations published by Stellenbosch University in 2016.

Prejudice a challenge in all societies
There are numerous challenges faced by religious groups around the world concerning prejudice, association with terrorism and political power and influence. Therefore, research in this field becomes important in helping to uphold the rights and freedoms of religious minority groups, to be able to foster understanding between communities.

Balancing responsibility and religious rights
His current focus is on challenges that have arisen in South Africa, more specifically pertaining to the right of medical practitioners to object conscientiously towards participating in certain medical procedures, the parameters of freedom related to religious associations and the inclusion of religious expression in public schools. These matters are also relevant to many other parts of the world (including, ironically enough, those democratic societies that endeavour to make diversity flourish).

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