Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka for 5 weeks

Charlotte Nicoll Start Date: Nov 27, 2017 - End Date: Apr 1, 2018
  • Professional Development
  • Leadership/Training Program
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Sri Lanka

My Travel Story

by: Charlotte Nicoll Start Date: Nov 27, 2017 - End Date: Apr 1, 2018
  • Professional Development
  • Leadership/Training Program
  • Cultural Exchange
I will be going to Sri Lanka through the scheme on a Mental Health Placement. 

I will be working in a psychiatric unit one day a week, which will help me learn more about mental health in other countries and will also help those on the unit feel uplifted as I will be promoting positive mentality and helping those who may need encouragement and support. I will also be teaching English through SLV's "English for Development" idea, where individuals aged 40+ are taught English by volunteers. In the English for Development days (2-3 days a week) I will be helping increase confidence and career prospects for those in Sri Lanka.

I will also be doing Special Needs work, helping those with special needs, once or twice a week. This may entail working in schools or on similar initiatives with those who may have autism, a brain injury or anything that classifies as a special needs. On top of this, I will be working in a Mental Health Care Home

I will be trained and will have other volunteers around to guide me through my experience. I will take part in workshops led by mental health professionals. Previous workshops have included: Psychology Within a Sri Lankan context, Psychological Healing Related to Tsunami and Post-War Reconciliation, Creative Therapy and Meditation and Mindfulness.

I will also have weekends free to explore the culture, food, area and wildlife and to completely immerse myself in my surroundings.

I am currently studying Psychology in Education, so I am passionate about learning more about mental health and helping improve the mental well-being of others. I want to make a huge difference and understand a different culture than my own, I don't want to just see mental health change just in my own country but in others, hence why I want to go to Sri Lanka! :)

  • Sri Lanka


  • WOOOO, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

    WOOOO, thank you, thank you, thank you
    In the past month, I have had two bake sales and have gotten rid of every item- which includes 60 Krispy Kreme doughnuts! I was even trying to sell them cheaply in exchange for people doing our Psychology questionnaire in stats, and I succeeded!

    I am so grateful to Tiny Tim's Bakes for providing the most fantastic vegan cupcakes for such a low price!

    Everyone has been so amazing, helpful, kind and thoughtful- I will forever be so so grateful to everyone for helping me get to this stage! I am so blessed to have received what I have. In total the bake sales and performance concert raised £222 and with extra donations from friends and family, I smashed my target of £1,000 and have gotten it up to £1,100 offline and online, so thank you to everyone for helping.

    I still plan on fundraising in coming months, hopefully a pub quiz and another bake sale may raise the amount to £1,500 which would just be such a weight off my shoulders if I could raise anymore!

    Thanks again everyone.
  • Performance Concert, Cake Sale, Jabs And Lots More!

    Performance Concert, Cake Sale,  Jabs And Lots More!
    Hello Everyone!!

    I thought that I would keep you all updated on the amazing week that all the fundraising and sharing has had and how grateful I am for your generosity and support.

    Performance Concert
    So the performance concert was Friday 9th February at 1pm, and although I wasn't expecting many people to come, I was astounded by the support that I received and the amazing talent that we all saw. It made me realise how truly blessed I am to have met some of the fantastic people on my course, in my college and at my university. I have the best housemates (Joe and Laura) who were there after the concert helping, baking and selling cakes- they made the best brownie ever which was a complete sell out, and I am so privileged to have such great housemates whose support has been so profound and I love them both dearly. Even the strangers that put money in my bucket, when they hardly knew me and someone even placing a £10 note in the bucket. I couldn't stop saying wow all afternoon at the kindness of students at the University of York. We made an astonishing and unexpected amount, which I still need to count (probably in the £60 mark)- I will update everyone on this amount in due course!

    Recent donators
    I also want to say the biggest, warmest, greatest and most appreciative thank you to all those that have donated, or helped in anyway that they could. I have honestly gasped and smiled every time I have seen a new amount appear on my screen. Whether it has been 5, 10, 15, or 20 pounds, it is all so helpful and has meant that in the past week alone on this fundraising page, I have raised £135 just from kind donations. If you add that to a rough estimate from the concert, that is nearing on £200 and that pays for my local travel expenses to and from my placement, and my daily lunches and weekend meals, so from the bottom of my heart: THANK-YOU WONDERFUL AND GENEROUS PEOPLE.

    Today was the day that I thought that I would have all my jabs- so I went to the doctors for the first time in York and dreaded the upcoming jabs. However, I discovered that I need around 10 jabs so that I can go around Sri Lanka to safely enter into the medical environments as a volunteer without picking up any serious illness. I will need to pay for these jabs and this is far more costly than I imagined, as there is currently a national shortage in the NHS. One of the most expensive jabs I will need is the Japanese Encephalitis, this is a vaccine that prevents against illness from a mosquito bite- so it is very important and totals up at £92 per jab, and I need 3 injections of it (so you can see how it is costly). I will also have to pay for the Hep A, Hep B and Rabies jab and I will require 3 injections of each type. This just gives you an idea of what the money you are donating is going towards to enable me to work in a medical professional environment, so I am very grateful to all of you for helping me in anyway that you can, even sharing helps as so many people have donated from just seeing the page being shared.

    My flights will be being booked at the end of March and I have two bake sales coming up before then, with Krispy Kreme doughtnuts to be sold, so I am hoping for a major rise in money towards my cause. For anyone that has flown with me in recent years (probably only Charles and the poor person who may have ended up next to me on a flight) I am SUCH a nervous flyer now, which never used to be the case. The prospect of getting on a flight for 15 hours to Sri Lanka fills me with utter dread. I have been lucky enough to find someone flying from the same airport as me for our placement! So everything seems to be falling right into place- Praise be to God

    Thank you all for you lovely and overwhelming support whether that is sending messages, donating, sharing, liking or watching the concert.

    God bless you all,

    Charlotte x