Paige's Volunteer Trip in Sri Lanka

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” - Brene Brown, PhD., LMSW

While some may perceive asking for help as a weakness, I truly believe it is the opposite. Asking for help requires the courage, strength, and humility to speak the truth about our struggles to others; all the while knowing that they can do as they wish with our most sensitive thoughts and feelings. As a mental health professional, and human being, I find it emotionally painful to know that people are suffering in silence rather than seeking help from family, friends, or professionals primarily because they fear how it will change how others view them. There are many strategies for therapy and healing, but above all else I believe that the relationship and ability to connect with another allows a person the space to feel safe within their thoughts and feelings. To me, the ability to connect with others and build trusting relationships opens the door for vulnerability and honesty to thrive, which is where healing begins.

There are two reasons I feel it is important for me to explain my view of the importance of vulnerability. The first is for you to understand how I believe healing takes place. I want you to be able to understand why I am passionate about mental health as a whole, and I want you to be able to apply it to your own life to see just how much it can help. The second reason is because I want you to understand that I am not one who enjoys asking for help, yet I am allowing my vulnerability to help me heal those in need by asking for help from others. If I have empowered others to be brave enough to share their stories, to be vulnerable, to accept another’s help, and to be an active player in their journey to improve their lives, then I have done by part and so have they.

Why am I fundraising?
Over the course of 5-weeks, I will be volunteering with SLV.Global in Sri Lanka to provide psychological support and guidance to the locals in the hopes of improving wellbeing and self-esteem. During my time abroad, I will be assisting in providing therapeutic services in a number of settings. First, I will be working alongside psychologists and psychiatrists within psychiatric hospitals and/or rehabilitation centers to provide stimulation and human contact via therapeutic services. Sadly, the primary method of mental health treatment in psychiatric hospitals in Sri Lanka is medication. Due to a lack of qualified mental health professionals and a scarcity of beds, volunteers are helpful in provided services that are often not available in hopes of reducing the probability of returning to these facilities. Additionally, I will be working with individuals with special needs (i.e., autism, brain injury) through a combination of physical and mental activities to highlight the creativity and strength that they are often unaware of. Finally, other volunteers and I will be assisting in English development for Sri “Lankans” of all ages to increase employment attractability and confidence in one’s abilities.

Where is the money going?
While I am thrilled to be apart of this upcoming experience, it does not come for free. With your contribution to my goal of raising $2,300, I will be able to pay for the following:
1. Homestay accommodation and meals
2. Support from SLV.Global professionals
3. In-country professional training
4. Visa extension
5. Ground transportation
6. The “jungle weekend”
7. Travel insurance
8. Medical visits & travel immunizations
During my stay in Sri Lanka, I will be lodging with other volunteers in the comfort of a local family’s home where breakfast and traditional Sri Lankan dinners are provided during the week. Throughout the week, I will have 24/7 support from the SLV.Global team in addition to the volunteers and staff I will be working alongside. Your donation will also allow me to participate in a week long professional training prior to providing services. Other costs include visa extensions (for staying in the country over 30 days) as well as transportation to and from the airport, to workshops, and to our homestay. Finally, the “jungle weekend” provides volunteers with the opportunity to get to know each other during a weekend away in the jungle as we engage in action-packed activities (i.e., white water rafting, rock sliding). Work hard, play hard, right? No donation is too little and all donations will be more than appreciated.

What your support means to me
The appreciation I have for your support, financially and otherwise, is difficult to sum up in a few sentences; however, I’ll give it a shot. I see too many people struggling with their mental battles day in and day out. Lows become lower, anxieties become more exhausting, and past traumas feel more debilitating. Based on personal experience, I understand how exhausting it can be when we do not have optimal mental health. Yet, I believe there is always hope within all of us and sometimes we just need a little help to remind us of that. Your support tells me that you believe there is hope for seeing the light despite all the darkness that comes into our lives. Your donation not only supports me in my journey as a mental health professional, but also the individuals I will have the privilege of working with in Sri Lanka. For that, I am so thankful.

Take a Look at My Sponsors:

Mold Inspection & Testing (MI&T)
Locations all over the nation
http://moldinspectionandtest.com/
(855) [phone redacted]
*Level 3 Sponsorship


Pride N Joy Salon Suites
820 E. Terra Cotta Avenue, Suite 130
Crystal Lake, IL, 60014
(815) [phone redacted]
Call to make an appointment today!
*Level 2 Sponsorship

Coventry Eyecare Associates Ltd
500 Coventry Lane, Suite 200
Crystal Lake, IL, 60014
https://www.coventryeyecareassociates.com
(815) [phone redacted]
Call for an evaluation, check-up, or consultation today!
*Level 2 Sponsorship

Why SLV.Global?
Click on the following link to learn more about the organization & my placement in Sri Lanka: https://slv.global/placements-abroad/sri-lanka/mental-health-placement
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Organizer

Paige Christine 
Organizer
Crystal Lake, IL
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