15 Sep 2015
Student gains key work experience volunteering in Sri Lanka
Third year Psychology student, Heather Ellender, spent four weeks this Summer volunteering in Sri Lanka to gain valuable work experience as part of her placement year.
Heather applied for, and was successful in gaining, support from the Loughborough Ede and Ravenscroft Scholarship to fund her trip overseas. The Scholarship provides undergraduates the opportunity to extend their knowledge by travelling to destinations both nationally and internationally.
Using the grant to travel to Sri Lanka, Heather spent four weeks volunteering at psychiatric hospitals and running therapeutic activity sessions at centres for individuals with varying specific needs.
During her placement, Heather was trained and supported by Sri Lankan mental health professionals to help equip her with the skills to work in under-resourced, challenging and sensitive environments.
Mental health care in Sri Lanka is in its infancy, with only one Psychiatrist for every 500,000 people. In the past 5 years, over 1000 Psychology students have joined SLV to dedicate their time to supporting people with mental health issues in Sri Lanka.
SLV is a volunteer organisation founded in 2010 by psychology graduates in a similar position to Heather.
Commenting on her experience, Heather says: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Loughborough Ede and Ravenscroft Scholarship for providing the financial support which has enabled me to undertake this placement. It has been a fantastic opportunity to discover first-hand how different cultures have altering perceptions of mental illnesses and how the practice of mental health in Sri Lanka differs to that in England.”