Advanced Mental Health Placement
I have recently completed my Bachelor of Psychological Science at Colmbia University in 2017. As Colmbia does not provide any placement opportunities to undergraduate students, I have decided to gain some hands on experience in a disadvantaged community.
On the 8th of October 2018, I will be undertaking an Advanced Mental Health Placement for 8 weeks in Sri Lanka. I have chosen to volunteer with an organisation called SLV Global, which was founded by a group of psychology graduates in 2010. Their goal was to make a difference in Sri Lanka where the resources are scarce for those living with mental illness. The organisation focuses on prioritising the quality of the work they do, rather than it being just a holiday experience.
I have chosen to volunteer in Sri Lanka as it is still recovering from a 25 year civil war and the 2004 tsunami, and due to a lack of psychologists, the primary treatment for those with mental health issues is pharmacological. As I have learnt throughout my studies, pharmacological treatments are not enough on their own to achieve the best outcome, as mental health issues are far more complicated.
SLV's primary aim is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and to build the resources in the communities where they work. They do this in conjunction with local professionals to improve the overall well-being of individuals.The placement cost is $3,600 (excluding flights, insurance, visa, vaccinations and transport). The funds will go towards training and talks, resources required to provide a substantial and less medicated form of psychological help for disadvantaged communities for the duration of my placement.
Throughout my placement, there will be a minimum of 6 different weekly projects which can range from helping individuals in various stages of recovery, teaching English to adults and children, aiding children's development through activities such a swimming, supporting individuals with special needs and working with the local community.
This experience is going to be both challenging and, I hope, incredibly rewarding for me. I am passionate about helping others, especially if I can improve an individual's mental well-being. I feel honoured to be given this opportunity to work with an organisation which believes in focusing on mental health rather than mental illness.
If you would like to learn more about the Advanced Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka, please visit: https://slv.global/sri-lanka-info-pack
Thank you for any donation that you can make, big or small. Your contribution will help me make a difference to those in need.