Adressing cross-cultural mental health issues

Reema Jawad Start Date: Jul 8, 2016 - End Date: Apr 7, 2017
  • Bali, Indonesia

My Travel Story

by: Reema Jawad Start Date: Jul 8, 2016 - End Date: Apr 7, 2017
On July 23rd 2017, I will be heading off to Bali with SLV to do a summer mental health placement. SLV is a voluntary organisation run by a group of psychology graduates.  Their main aim is to improve mental-health treatment and the way that mental-health is perceived in communities in Asia. On top of this, the organisation aims to give psychology graduates mental health experience, which as many psychology students/grads know, is very difficult to attain. It is my aim this year to fundraise for my trip and to go and make a difference.

As many of you will already know, mental-health is something I am extremely passionate about. This year I have had some personal experiences that have enabled me to explore the mechanics behind the mental-health system here in the UK. I spent the year reflecting on how neglected our system here is. What is more alarming is that even though our system may be neglected, it is still considered as very privileged. In countries less fortunate than ours, mental-health systems are even more neglected to the point of near non-existence. On top of this, mental health issues have a stigma across the world. I have chosen to pursue a future in mental-health mostly because it is a feature in every individual across the world. How can we alienate states of mind that so many people will experience in their life? In particular, I am going to Bali to take this message with me: mental health is something that everyone has, like physical health. It exists on a spectrum and should not be used as a label. I want to take this to Bali, where people may be ashamed to talk about their mental health and where people may be treated more differently because of it. I want to go to Bali to help individuals with different societal/cultural pressures.

Currently, I have just finished my Psychology degree (BSc) at Royal Holloway University of London. In the long run, I hope to continue my education in psychology, perhaps progressing to a PHD and pursuing a career in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). To do this I need loads of hands-on experience behind me. Going to Bali will give me the chance to train with professionals and to explore the differences in culture behind mental-health. This is a good next step for me before post-grad education, as well as other experience I may gain throughout the year.

In Bali, I will be working in a psychiatric unit, as well as teaching English as a foreign language. Sensory and creative therapy will be used to engage with patients. Any donation no matter how big or small would be so greatly appreciated! Throughout the year I will be hosting a series of events including a sponsored run, henna-nights, commissioned art pieces and bake-sales, so keep an eye out! Thanks in advance for your generosity and support.

Head to the SLV website for more info, or contact me with any questions!
  • Bali, Indonesia