My name is Francesca, and I am in my first year at Newcastle University studying Psychology.
This summer I will be travelling to the district of Colombo in Sri Lanka to complete an advanced mental health placement with SLV.global. The aim of this project is to promote positive mental health to the local patients by boosting confidence, self-esteem and improving key life skills in people of all ages and abilities.
My week will consist of activities such as special needs work, encouraging children’s development, teaching English skills and working in a mental health care home and a psychiatric unit. These will require me to get creative to think of specific ideas for individuals with various mental disorders.The placement is focused on making a positive impact in the local community to the benefit of service users and is focused on being ethical and sustainable.
I was motivated to apply to this project as Sri Lanka is a country where mental health treatment is only just becoming prevalent and so I wanted to assist in the promotion of seeing mental illness in a more understanding way and also to help the patients myself.
This will not be a holiday, instead it is over a month of full-time work experience with real patients and will be challenging considering the language barrier and the huge responsibility that I am being trusted with. As my placement is in the mental health sector, it ties in very well with my future goals, as I hope to become a Clinical Psychologist in the future and to continue to help vulnerable people throughout my life. Clinical Psychology involves working with mentally ill people on a daily basis, as well as tailoring treatment to their specific needs, as I will be doing on this placement, so it is very important to me.
The placement will cost almost £3000 overall, so I am trying to fundraise in as many ways as possible. I would be very grateful for any amount of money anyone would be willing to donate to help me fund this experience and would love to tell everyone about what I have learnt and done when I am back.
Thank you for reading and for any donations. Attached are some photos from previous volunteers.
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