Pauline's Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka

Pauline Bugeon Start Date: Jan 5, 2018 - End Date: Jul 4, 2018
  • Sri Lanka

My Travel Story

by: Pauline Bugeon Start Date: Jan 5, 2018 - End Date: Jul 4, 2018
Hey there, and welcome to my page!

I am a second-year psychology student in the UK, and this year, I have decided to put my theoretical knowledge into use by helping out in the mental health field in Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka is an amazingly beautiful country which unfortunately lacks resources in mental health services. Mental health is still a stigma among the population who is, however, still recovering from a chaotic historical background, which includes a 25-year long civil war until 2009 and a tsunami in 2004. Mental health issues are often and wrongly treated in a somatic way. This is also because facilities and professionals are not sufficient to provide appropriate help to the full population (1 psychiatrist for 500 000 people). As a result, in 2012, Sri Lanka had one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

To be pro-active at my own scale, and improve this situation, I have engaged in a program created by psychology graduates in 2010. This project is especially meaningful to me as it both allows psychology students to make sense of their degree, as they use their skills to improve people’s lives by caring for their mental health. And also, to improve these skills in facing real life conditions: in the clinical field, through assisting in psychiatric facilities, and in developmental psychology by working with children requiring special needs, while aiming to develop their motor and speech skills.
The project is also beautiful in its humanity, as the volunteers will also be teaching English to both adults and students, in order to provide them with better career prospects, raise self-confidence, and increase cultural awareness.

My fundraising aims to pay for the placement fees set by the organisation. These placement fees include accommodation, visa extension, in-country training during the first week, transport. But also, the fees go to the people leading the program, who work tirelessly to provide the best environment possible for all volunteers, and support 24/7 if needed, in regard to the difficult conditions some of us may be exposed to.

Thank you for your generosity!

  • Sri Lanka