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Empowering minds, transforming lives through health and wellbeing

Unisa’s Department of Student Affairs together with the Eastern Cape and Gauteng Regional Offices hosted a Mental Health Awareness Workshop at the Florida Science Campus on 29 August 2023, and at the East London Campus on 01 September 2023. The intervention workshop was attended by student leaders from the Students Representative Council (SRC), student structures, and members of staff from the Department of Student Affairs and Eastern Cape Regional Services.


Student leaders and staff from the Department of Student Affairs

The purpose of the workshop was to raise awareness and provide education about health and wellbeing to Unisa students within a student development context. The campaigns adopted a holistic model to wellbeing, focusing on aspects of physical, emotional, social, financial, academic, environmental, and spiritual wellness.

The workshop was facilitated by Lizette le Roux, Acting Deputy Director of Student Development, supported by East London clinical psychologist, Nolwazi Somtsewu, Obakeng Motsamai, Gauteng Region, and staff from Student Affairs.

Eastern Cape Region Director Motale Nkgoang welcomed the participants and emphasised the importance of the workshop. Nkgoang stated that the workshop will help students understand when and where to seek assistance from the various stakeholders in attendance. Sipho Konkwane, Regional SRC representative, gave a message of support to participants and stressed the importance of taking care of one’s mental health.

Dr Joshua Ndlela, Gqeberha student counsellor, presented on substance abuse and its impact on the wellness of students. Mandi Malange, social worker in private practice, presented on depression and identified stress factors and coping strategies, and FAMSA (Families South Africa) presented on different services and programmes they provide for students and communities.


Students engaging in aerobic exercises

Day two of the programme was a fun-infused learning experience, where students visited various stalls, including FNB, Old Mutual, Anova Health Institute, the Department of Health Mobile Clinic, Higher Health, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, the Independent Electoral Commission, Aquity Innovation, and Social Health and Empowerment.

The students engaged in aerobic exercises, which were aimed at teaching students the value of physical activity in order to maintain a healthy circulatory system. The aerobic exercises were facilitated by the Gym Company and Virgin Active.

The festival saw a variety of stakeholders who engaged students, staff, and those living with disabilities, on the importance of exercising and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It was a fruitful event that left students with valuable information on self-awareness, self‑regulation, self-motivation, and self-leadership.


* By Tebogo Mangope, Acting Student Health and Wellness Practitioner, Department of Student Affairs

Publish date: 2023/09/12

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