Graduate expands knowledge of global mental health in Sri Lanka
10 October 2016
A Leeds Trinity University graduate has travelled to Sri Lanka to expand her knowledge and understanding of global mental health.
Lucy Jenkins undertook a voluntary mental health placement this summer after graduating with a degree in Forensic Psychology.
As well as planning and running therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities in the local hospital, Lucy and the rest of the volunteer team also worked in schools and social initiatives for children and adults with disabilities. They supported individuals living with a wide range of mental health issues, and taught English in the local community.
Lucy said: "I worked in the local community and lived with a Sri Lankan family, which gave me a unique insight into culture and daily life. At the weekends, I got chance to explore the beautiful country, snorkel with sharks and climb rocks – but the best thing was seeing what a difference I was making to so many people's lives. I learnt so much, met so many lovely people and became part of a family that treated me as if I was their own – my time there was amazing."
Lucy travelled to Sri Lanka with SLV; a graduate-led volunteering organisation, which runs psychology-focused placements in Sri Lanka and also in Bali, Indonesia.
Lee Mendeloff, Head of Operations at SLV, said:
"For today's psychology students, who wish to pursue a career in the mental health sector, it's important to gain worthwhile, hands-on work experience. Not only has Lucy utilised and developed important skills in her chosen field of study but she has also developed an in depth understanding of mental health from an additional cultural perspective.
"Learning about mental health treatment in another country only serves to enrich one's knowledge of global mental health and is advantageous for those looking to pursue a career working with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds."
Training in Sri Lanka was provided by local professionals and National Governing Organisations who know the country inside-out.
For more information about SLV, visit www.slvolunteers.com.