Hello, my name is Abbie and in May 2018, I am independently travelling to Sri Lanka for four weeks to volunteer with Mental Health and Psychology.
Sri Lanka is a small country just south of India, which was unfortunate enough to be struck by the Boxing Day Tsunami back in 2004. As a result, approximately 30,000 lost their lives and 21,000 were badly injured.
The mental health needs of Sri Lanka have continued to increase throughout recent decades, resulting in mental health services failing to respond to such high demand. It is estimated that in tsunami-affected areas, 40% of people suffer from common mental disorders, and there is a 3% prevalence of severe mental disorders. Sri Lanka's suicide rates are amongst the highest globally according to the World Health Organisation, resulting in mental health needs within Sri Lanka also being the highest in the world.
Plan My Gap Year is an amazing programme which gives people the opportunity to gain valuable experience within other countries to get an insight into the chosen sector as well as aiding Sri Lanka with another individual to assist within hospital settings to help relieve the strain on the few mental health nurses within the country. I will be based in the Galle District which is one of the worst affected regions from the Boxing Day Tsunami, and to this day has continued to leave both a physical and mental impact on the Sri Lankan poeple. Within Sri Lanka, merging mental health issues such as: coping with trauma and stress related problems, understanding and helping mental health problems of those physically ill, rehabilitation of people with prolonged mental illnesses and raising awareness through community mental health education programmes are all now being ingrained, accepted and made accessible to the general population as part of the Sri Lanka primary healthcare both in government and private hospitals.
The total cost of this trip is approximatley £1600, and I have so far managed to pay £900 but am unfortunatley struggling with the last £700. All money donated will go towards the cost of my experience, and in turn towards charity which helps to provide the correct medical and mental health assistance to the residents of Sri Lanka. In order to raise this money, I am doing car boots as well as many other mini money raisers. My biggest fundraiser is that I am planning to jump in the sea on Boxing Day in respects to the victims of the terrible tsunami. I am doing this without a wetsuit and in just my clothes so that I can feel the cold myself just like how the victims did. Please sponser me for my Boxing Day Dip as every penny counts and goes towards both me recieving an amazing experience which will help me with university, and also towards this amazing charity to continue helping the residents of Sri Lanka. All donations are greatly appreciated.