Sierra's Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka
My name is Sierra Bridgwater and I’m 22 years old with a BA degree in Psychology from Carleton University.
Mental health has been a huge part of my life, as it has not only had an effect on my friends and family but has also had an effect on myself. Which is why I am excited and thankful to have the opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka on November 6th 2017 for a 6 week Mental Health Placement through the organization SLV Global.
SLV Global is an organization founded by psychology graduates from the UK that found the lack of hands on experience with mental health to be problematic. This led the group to create an organization that would allow individuals to get experience working in a psychiatric facilities, assisting individuals who have special needs as well as teaching English to individuals. Since the creation of the organization in 2010, it has grown vastly and now has placement opportunities in Sri Lanka, Bali and India.
So Why Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka suffered through a civil war for 25 years, which caused chaos and sorrow in the country. The war ended in 2009 and the country has since rebounded. However, due to the civil war, the country has had constant high rates of mental illness, including depression, substance abuse, alcoholism and suicide. In fact, Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates in the world with nearly 6,000 deaths per year and 100,000 attempts each year, with 5-10% of the population suffering from mental illness. Due to these high rates and the fact that Sri Lanka is a developing country, not all individuals can afford the help they need, which is why the work that the SLV Global team completes is vital to small communities in the country. This is also why I, like many other past and future SLV Global volunteers, want to help individuals in Sri Lanka.
While in Sri Lanka, I will not only be working in a psychiatric facility with individuals in remission, but I will also be working with individuals that have special needs and teaching English to various age groups. As a volunteer, I will be providing resources for the different workshops, which is what some of the raised money will be going towards.
This experience will not only benefit individuals in Sri Lanka, but will also benefit my future. Although this benefit is not my first reason for going, it will ultimately help my future endeavours, as I hope to pursue a career in counselling. This opportunity will allow me to gain hands on experience in mental health and experience on how to properly deal with a crisis.
My placement fee is roughly $2,700 Canadian which includes the training I will receive upon arrival, two meals per day, my home stay and the SLV Global support. I can assure you that if you choose to donate to my page the money will go directly towards my volunteer experience, as it will allow me help those in Sri Lanka. I also understand that money is tight for everyone but even the smallest donation will help!
Thank you again for visiting my page and taking the time out to read this. If you choose to donate, it will be greatly appreciated!