Five Week Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka - SLV Global
Submitted by Hannah Spooner - University of Greenwich | October 10, 2017
I spent five weeks in Sri Lanka volunteering with individuals with special needs, mental health issues and teaching English. The placement was very well organised and support was always available from SLV staff. We lived with a Sri Lankan family, however, the family never ate dinner with us or talked to us and we felt very separate. We volunteered at two projects each day. The projects mainly consisted of craft activities which I found disappointing. Nevertheless, I had a good experience. We also attended workshops; such as on meditation and shadowing a psychiatrist at a mental health hospital.
SLV.Global responded to this review October 30, 2017 at 7:57 AM
Hi Hannah, thanks for your valuable feedback and for taking the time to write a review! We're glad you found organisation and support from our team in Sri Lanka and enjoyed the workshops - we really appreciate your hard work while on placement. We are sorry to hear you felt separated from the homestay family and also felt some disappointment during the projects. Our homestay families host our volunteers in their actual family homes all through the year, so sometimes they may eat at different times rather than with the volunteers, and at times there can also be a language barrier there too. While our volunteers often do not hold the necessary qualifications to provide clinical therapies, art therapy can help stimulate the service users and provide valuable social interaction necessary to promoting positive mental health. We are always happy to discuss your points with you and welcome your feedback. Best of luck for the future, please keep in touch!
Most memorable experience of my life
Submitted by Kiran Sole - University of Worcester | October 10, 2017
Coming to write this review, I feel speechless. If I was to describe my experience in short hand, the answer is - I can't. I spent 10 weeks working in this BEAUTIFUL country. Yes, it is a third world country and yes, you may not have the comforts of 'home' but you begin to immerse yourself and love that you have what you NEED; nothing more or less. The like minded people that you meet and the friendly locals that you come across make you feel nothing less than family.
I was so welcomed by the Sri Lankan community - everyone cares! They say hello, they help you if you look lost! They are just really caring people and if you were ever having a bad day, you will be guaranteed a local to smile at you and make it all better again.
With regards to the placement, it was eye opening to witness the mental health care in Sri Lanka, who have a very different cultural perspective. It was a good opportunity as each day would focus on different aspects of mental health e.g. Tuesday's would focus on psychiatric wards and mental health hospitals, Wednesdays would focus on special needs, Thursdays would focus on teaching English and so on.
It was also a really great opportunity as they gave us a range of fieldtrips to go on as well! These included having one to one sessions with specialists to give us some more insight into the treatments of mental health in Sri Lanka! One which I loved the most was going up north to see a psychologist and shadowing him throughout his day, going to different clinics to see so many service users!
Given the amount of time I'd spent there, I felt at times that I was ready to go home but there was always that part of me that kept me going as well. Knowing how rewarding the whole placement was and how many things I'd learnt made me appreciate the fact that I was even able to help out such a great deal! What I say is, if you are lucky enough to be there, make the most of it! Because when you come back and get on with your day to day life again, you'll realise how special that place really was!
Of course, travelling the country was an amazing benefit to this placement but I feel extremely proud of myself to have done this all on my own! And with great pride and a massive smile on my face , I will write on my CV that I had volunteered for SLV for 3 months. It is my greatest achievement and most memorable experience of my life and I will definitely come back!
SLV.Global responded to this review October 12, 2017 at 3:40 AM
Thank you for your lovely review, Kiran! We are glad to hear you enjoyed the projects as well as the community immersion. We loved having you on the team and really appreciate your commitment while on placement. Please keep in touch and best of luck for the future!
Amazing five weeks
Submitted by Luisa - London England | October 09, 2017
What an amazing five weeks I have just had. I can't believe it is already over. From day one you will be immersed into the Sri Lankan way of life and you will meet so many like-minded people who have similar goals and aspirations, which is very inspiring and motivating.
I enjoyed every single project I was placed on, from the psychiatric facilities, to SEN Centres, to teaching English in the community. Although they could be challenging, it was rewarding to see the difference SLV.Globals work was making to every service user.
As a psychology graduate I found it very hard to apply for many desirable jobs due to not having enough experience and therefore signed up to this placement as a means to get more hands on experience, particularly in psychiatric facilities. I have only been back a week and have posted my CV on a few job websites and there has already been a lot of interest over the volunteer work I did in Sri Lanka. It really is a fantastic talking point for job applications and interviews.
I will never forget the experience, the friends, staff or service users I met. Thank You.
SLV.Global responded to this review October 12, 2017 at 3:42 AM
HI Luisa, thanks so much for your feedback. It's great to hear you enjoyed the projects and found them rewarding. We loved having you on the team and wish you the best of luck for the future. Please keep in touch!
4 week Bali placement
Submitted by Ellie Anderron - London United Kingdom | October 09, 2017
Bali was an incredible experience, I gained skills and knowledge I would never have been able to volunteering at home. Certain logistics of the placement need to be worked on. The coach trip to Java was not acceptable, perhaps Jave should be a separate placement but a 14 hour coach trip over night and then starting projects at 9 o'clock that morning is not acceptable. How can we provide helpful projects to services users when our own well being is not being considered. Other than that my time in Bali was amazing and I would do it all again!
SLV.Global responded to this review October 30, 2017 at 9:49 AM
Hi Ellie, thank you for your comprehensive feedback. We're glad to hear you enjoyed the experience and found our placement in Bali enriching and valuable! Our volunteers' well being is our main concern, and we are sorry to hear that you found the journey to Java so long and uncomfortable. We fully value your feedback, and take your points on board in the efforts to iron out the finer details of the Bali Mental Health placement. We are open to discussing your ideas with you and we are always here if you need anything at all. Best of luck for the future!
A memorable experience
Submitted by Merve - Nottingham Trent University | October 08, 2017
My time in Bali was unforgettable! I worked on various different projects with very different service users. This placement was a valuable experience as I would have not been able to gain this experience in the UK. I gained a lot of different skills during my time in Bali. Apart from the placement, living in the local community was a very great experience and I really loved my homestay family. The weekends were a bonus!
SLV.Global responded to this review October 12, 2017 at 3:43 AM
Thanks for your lovely review, Merve! We loved having you on the team and really appreciate your hard work. Please keep in touch and best of luck for the future!