My Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka

Aisling Claffey Start Date: Jan 11, 2018 - End Date: May 10, 2018
  • Sri Lanka

My Travel Story

by: Aisling Claffey Start Date: Jan 11, 2018 - End Date: May 10, 2018
SLV was set up in 2010 by a group of psychology graduates from London who wanted to bring their expertise to Sri Lanka where the resources for those living with mental illness were scarce. They teamed up with Sri Lankan youth worker, Yasintha, and created a variety of volunteer placements. The main aim of SLV is to focus on global mental health.

I will be travelling to Sri Lanka on the 23rd of April for 4 weeks to volunteer on a mental health placement, where I will be living with a local host family and will be involved in the following projects:

Teaching English to young people and children.

Working with people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or challenging behaviour – giving them stimulation and working on their cognitive, motor and speech abilities.

Running therapeutic groups for patients at various stages of their mental health recovery in psychiatric hospitals and in the community. The facilities in these centres are vastly different from what we have access to in Ireland so I am looking forward to being able to provide some stimulation and help to these individuals.

I will be using creative therapies like music, art and drama to stimulate these individuals and I will be able to apply a lot of what I have learned in my course of study, occupational therapy. I have already completed two mental health placements as a part of my course in Dublin, so I am excited to apply what I have learned to my placement in Sri Lanka and put my experience to good use.

This experience will allow me to bring benefit to the community I will be placed in and will also be an extremely valuable learning opportunity that will make me better equipped to work in mental health in the future. I will attend workshops in Sri Lanka run by Samutthana, the King’s College London resource centre for trauma, displacement and mental health. The main aim of Samutthana is to train and support organisations and individuals to respond to the psychosocial needs of trauma sufferers i.e. tsunami survivors and those who have experienced civil-conflict in Sri Lanka.

I would really appreciate any donations – big or small - to help fund this placement!

Thank you :)
  • Sri Lanka