News from the Free State Region / August 2019

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A common question first-time entering first-year students often ask themselves when they come to university, is: ‘How will I deal with the pressure?’

The University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Student Counselling and Development (SCD) – with the vision to promote, enable, and optimise students’ self-direction – has launched the first edition of the Student Toolkit on Friday, 23 August 2019.

The toolkit, which is now available on Blackboard, is intended to assist students in dealing and coping with challenges they face in their personal lives during their period of study at the UFS.

Students will be exposed to a variety of topics, pressing issues, and phenomena that they will encounter on a daily basis in their lives, such as academic and personal challenges, time management, procrastination, goal setting, anxiety, effective studying, stress management, mindful meditation, self-love, loneliness, relationships, sexual orientation, family frustrations, overthinking, death, and suicide. 

Present at the launch was the UFS Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, Prof Puleng LenkaBula; the UFS Dean of Student Affairs, Mr Pura Mgolombane; the UFS Director for Student Counselling and Development, Melissa Barnaschone; Counselling Psychologist and compiler of the UFS Student Toolkit: Lize van den Bergh.

In addition, BCom Marketing honours student and poet, Thuthukani Ndlovu, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Next Chapter, Tshepang Mahlatsi, three students who have benefitted from SDC services, delegates from the department, and other affiliated students were all in attendance. 

For more information about the Student Toolkit, contact the Department of Student Counselling and Development at or call +27 51 401 2853.

Wellness Wednesdays

SCD (UFS) continues to have Monthly Wellness days to help combat burnout among staff members. This year we have had a variety of themes: Disco, Theatre, Movies, French Art, and an extra few hours to sleep in.


We have had the opportunity to continue our professional development with the following training sessions:

  • Solution-focused approach to trauma (by Jacqui von Cziffra-Bergs)
  • Transgender: Myths and Facts (by international speaker and advocate Jessica Lynn)
  • GROW: A resilience programme (Lize van den Bergh)

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