"I completed an eight week mental health placement beginning in December 2016 in Sri Lanka and had a great, experience-full time! The work was always both challenging and rewarding, though I think this can be tipped toward the rewarding side with preparation and enthusiasm. In spite of all the preparation in the world, sometimes plans just won’t work out, so some adaptability is definitely required. But, it was often those not-to-plan sessions that were the most memorable in my experience.
Over each week there was a good amount of variety in the schedule, though projects can become a little repetitive if the plans for them are too. The workshops in particular I found to be a really insightful and enjoyable way to diversify the days.
I also had some health issues whilst over there and SLV provided incredible support and assistance through that, making a difficult situation much less difficult.
I’d definitely recommend SLV to anyone looking to gain some mental health experience, to explore a beautiful country and it's culture (from an interesting, internal perspective too!), as well as getting to know some amazing people along the way, which for me all contributed to an enjoyable and very memorable time."
"My experience as part of the 4th July team in Bali last year was invaluable. Not only did I learn so much about mental health, special needs and how to plan and deliver projects but I was completely submerged into a beautiful culture and welcomed into a community and family with open arms and the warmest of smiles. The people I met and the experiences I encountered I will truly never forget. The four weeks were great for opening my eyes to which aspects I do and do not enjoy about working within mental health and special needs, and this has been invaluable in my decisions for my future career plans! The SLVGlobal team were nothing but supportive and helpful and have continued to be since my time with them last year."
Hi Molly, thank you for amazing review and picture! It was lovely to read about your experiences and how this has helped you on a professional level. Please do keep in touch and we wish you all the best for the future :)
"SLV is a brilliant organisation. Everything was well organised and the staff were extremely helpful from the beginning of my application, during the placement itself, and afterwards while trying to obtain references. My five week mental health placement provided me with lots of valuable experience which I hope will enable be to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. It was also a great opportunity to see Sri Lanka and to meet some great people."
Hi Kirti, thanks for taking the time to write a review about your time with us in Sri Lanka! It's great to hear that you enjoyed your time and would recommend our placements :D You were a fab volunteer and you made an amazing contribution to the April 2017 team! Best of luck :)
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your time! It's nice to hear that you enjoyed your experience with SLV.Global - we loved having you on the team! We wish you all the best for the future and please keep in touch :)
"This was the best thing I have ever done! The people, projects and country will make you fall in love! Would 100% recommend to anyone interested in mental health and who want to experience an entirely different culture!"
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review! It's great to hear that you enjoyed your time so much, especially immersing yourself into a new culture! You were a fab member of the team, and we would love to have you back on one of our teams one day :) Best of luck in your future plans!
"From the start, the staff at SLV was very accommodating and happy to help with any and all questions months before I even arrived in Sri Lanka. Once there, the team was very friendly and ready to help us get used to the culture and language. Over time they became more than just members of the team that were there to help, we genuinely became friends and that made the experience all more joyful."
Hi Michael, thanks for sharing your experience. We're glad to hear that you felt well supported before and during your placement. It was a pleasure to have you on the team. Please keep in touch and let us know if we can help with anything now that you have returned. Best of luck for the future.
"It was a nice experience to work with people in different age groups, which helped me to understand my strength and weaknesses to work with those people. Preparing and conducting a creative session was not easy, but would be really good once you see service users happy with the plan."
Hi there! Thanks for sharing your review. It's great to know that taking part in our placement has helped your personal development. We loved having you on the team. Please keep in touch and we wish you the best of luck for the future.
"Volunteering in Sri Lanka on the SLV Mental Health Placement was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding learning experiences I have ever had. I learned so much about working with individuals with mental ill health and additional needs in various settings that I would otherwise have no access to, and I very much enjoyed teaching English in schools and communities to people of varied ages and abilities. A particularly positive aspect of the programme is that we were able to plan and deliver project sessions that were tailored to the service users, which aimed to benefit them in some way, especially by improving sensory, motor and social skills, and we could see how they developed week after week.
Aside from the projects, the placement gave me the opportunity to explore the beautiful country at the weekends, to completely immerse myself in Sri Lankan culture while living with my homestay family, and to make many friends. I cannot recommend SLV highly enough. Thank you!"
Thank you so much for your dedication and taking the time to share your experience, Stephanie! You were a great addition to the team and we appreciate everything you did as a coordinator. Please do keep in touch and all the best for the future.
"By far the best thing I have ever done! I shall forever cherish the memories created in Sri Lanka. Having joined the Sri Lanka team this year, I am planning on joining the Bali team next year or even doing a three month placement as peer mentor role in Sri Lanka! I would recommend this placement to everyone."
"Was a great experience, eased me in to my time alone in South East Asia. I was on a pilot programme so still a few elements to be tweaked for us I feel, hence the 4 star review but as a young person, fresh from uni this would be a great introduction to the big wide world and mental health. Perhaps a little restrictive for older volunteers but a great cushion for those of lesser experience and certainly fun none the less!"
Hi Laura, thank you so much for taking the time to write a great review about your time on the 5th September 2016 team in Bali! We are so pleased to read that you had such an amazing experience, especially as you mentioned it was your first journey into travelling and global mental health. Thank you also for your useful feedback about the Bali Mental Health placement too - as you mentioned, the program is still in its infancy, so all of your feedback is really beneficial to developing the placement further! Thanks again and good luck in the future. We would be delighted to have you involved with SLV.Global again if your commitments allow! :D
Hi Kate, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. We're so glad you are able to utilise the skills you developed on placement, we loved having you on the team! We wish you all the best for the future and please keep in touch :)
"I completed a placement last June, which I believe was the best 5 weeks of my life. I completed the Special Needs programme in Sri Lanka. I met so many new people, thoroughly enjoyed all the workshops and the amazing travelling that you get to do at the weekend with the new friends that you make. SLV is a great company and I would definitely recommend completing a placement with them!"
"I took part in the 4 week mental health placement in Bali in 2016. This provided me with valuable first hand experience working with people with mental health issues in different settings, ranging from a psychiatric facility to within the community. Attending the same projects over the course of 4 weeks means that you are able to watch the service users develop their skills and you can see the positive impact you are having on different individuals lives.
At the time it was a pilot placement that had not been run before and so there were some areas of improvement, but the staff were always asking for our feedback on different areas of the project and had put our feedback in action by the time the next group of volunteers had arrived. The organisers were really keen to make the project as best as it could be for everyone involved (homestay owners, service users, staff, volunteers etc), and it was nice to see that we as volunteers were having a positive impact on the development of the project.
Not only did this volunteer placement provide me with excellent work experience, it was a great opportunity to explore a different part of the world, live in a different culture and to meet some great people - some of which I am still in contact with now! I would definitely recommend doing this placement as volunteering abroad gives you the best of both worlds, and the SLV staff are really approachable and always on board to answer you questions and give you support whenever you may need it."
"I had a great time on my special needs placement with SLV. Everyone who works for SLV are extremely helpful and friendly. The placement itself enhances lots of skills and looks great on any CV. I always get asked my placement in job interviews."
"I volunteered in the 4th July placement 2016 and would never look back. Not only did I learn and develop so many new skills including team work, presenting, taking the initiative, project management and planning and resources, I made life long friends in which I've since had reunions with people from all over the world - from England, Ireland, wales Singapore and America!
The experience I gained is so valuable and rewarding, and to have shared this experience with such amazing, like-minded people is very special.
Thanks SLV for an incredible experience!!!!"
Hi Sioned, thank you so much for your fantastic review! We absolutely loved having you on the team last July and are so pleased to hear that you learned and developed so many new skills and made such strong friendships. We would be delighted to have you on the team again and wish you the best with your future plans. Please let us know if we can ever help you with anything :)
"I attended the 1 week placement in India in July, and it was an incredible experience! Learning about mental health practices in India, and how they differ from the U.S. was valuable, and I know I can use the information in my career as a future MFT. Everyone we met was so kind and happy to show us their culture. Manju, Sri, and Yasintha were wonderful guides who catered the trip to what we were interested in experiencing. They were knowledgable, kind, and welcoming from start to finish. This experience was amazing, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering applying!"
"I attended the 1 week placement in India in July, and it was an incredible experience! Learning about mental health practices in India, and how they differ from the U.S. was valuable, and I know I can use the information in my career as a future MFT. Everyone we met was so kind and happy to show us their culture. Manju, Sri, and Yasintha were wonderful guides! This experience was amazing, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering applying!"
"Spending five weeks in Sri Lanka was the most incredible decision I have ever made. Like how a lot of people said, you gain/improve so many skills that can help you either in the mental health field or in other areas. This placement was challenging in a good way to force myself out of my comfort zone. I made so many friends from other countries and we all enjoyed getting to know one another. The weekends are INCREDIBLE!! Oh, I could write pages about the weekends are how wonderful it is to explore the beautiful island. The projects can be very difficult at times, but it is good to have the variety that SLV provides. I wish that there was more psychology field trips and workshops, but I understand that there is a shortage of mental health workers in the field. All in all, I do not regret this incredible summer at all."
Hi Emily, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience of our placement in Sri Lanka. We loved having you on the team and are glad to hear that you have no regrets. Please keep in touch and we wish you all the best for the future.
"SLV was the greatest decision of my life. The culture, people, and staff were amazing and made my 5 weeks truly incredible. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to challenge themselves in their Psychology field and wanting to dedicate their time to improving positive mental health."
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