University students volunteer in Sri Lanka

Two psychology students from the University of Lincoln have returned from Sri Lanka after completing a mental health placement.

Photograph of a group of voluenteers in Sri Lanka

Volunteers for the SLV including Laura White and Kiana Jackson

Laura White and Kiara Jackson found difficulty in applying for a Clinical Psychology Doctorate, as fewer than 4% of applicants are successful, so they decided to travel to get the experience they needed.

The trip was organised by Sri Lanka Volunteers (SLV), which was founded in 2010 by Psychology graduates and focuses on helping develop mental health care in the country. Volunteers spend five weeks in Sri Lanka and lend their skills to psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation stations and centres for people with special needs.

Mental health care in the country is under developed as there is a large stigma with mental health issues, with just one psychiatrist for every 500,00 people.

Volunteer Kiara Jackson said: “My time in Sri Lanka was amazing. I met so many incredible people, both other volunteers and locals and have learnt so much from them and the experience.”

Molly McAleavey spoke Lee Mendeloff, SLV’s International Project Manager about how the project began and what it was about.

SLV are recruiting team members for their Mental Health, Teaching and Special Needs placements in 2016. More information is available on their website: http://slvolunteers.com/ or you can find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/slvolunteersorganisation