Thanks so much for visiting my fundraising page.
I am currently studying an MSc in Psychology and Mental Health is an area that I am extremely passionate about.
I will be undertaking a Psychology and Mental Health placement in Sri Lanka in June where I will be living within a Sri Lankan community, experiencing their way of life and will also gain hands on clinical experience. I will work in a clinical environment in psychiatric and rehabilitation centres, running therapeutic activities for patients. I will also help teach English to young adults and children and work with groups, preparing fun engaging activities and games such as arts and crafts/drawing and painting as a mechanism to help support creative therapy amongst children who have mental health disabilities.
I will also get the opportunity to take part in an Ayurveda seminar which is a medicine system rooted in the Indian subcontinent and consists of practices that promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. The seminar will explain a different dynamic and perspective onto how patients are treated with regard to mental health and the traditional Sri Lanka medical system.It will also involve a lecture from a Buddhist monk who will explore how Buddhists and Sri Lankan people are dealing with mental health problems and how core values and practices such as meditation and beliefs are helping with this.
This placement is not Government funded therefore your donation will be one step closer towards helping me to help others who less fortunate.
All donations will be greatly appreciated.
A huge thank you.
Here is a little more information on the situation in Sri Lanka for those who may be interested...
The mental health needs of Sri Lanka have continued to increase in recent decades and traditionally mental health services failed to respond to such developments. It is estimated that in tsunami-affected areas 40% of people suffer from common mental disorder and there is a 3% prevalence of severe mental disorder.
Sri Lanka’s suicide rates are amongst the highest globally according to the World Health Organisation and mental health needs in Sri Lanka today are as high as anywhere else in the world. In more recent times the country as a whole is moving away from the traditional cultural stigma that had always been attached to mental health in Sri Lanka. Whilst integrating mental health into the primary care of Sri Lanka’s public health system and private sector still remains challenging, more recently there has been encouraging signs that right tracks are being made to do this.
Such tracks originated in the late 1970’s with the emergence of a Non-Government Organisation – ‘The National Council for Mental Health’. Creations of medical officers of mental health (MOMHs) then followed for Sri Lanka with the aspiration of having a MOMH in each of Sri Lankas 276 subdistricts – at a ratio of one MOMH per 70,000 population. However such a ratio led to its own constraints with MOMH often suffering from excessive workloads: there were too many patients to see in the clinic or not enough valuable time spent with each patient in the clinic, shortage of essential medicines in clinics and inpatient units and a lack of community based psychiatric treatment settings.
Systematic training programmes have been introduced to help support mental health officers and for them to then pass on such trainings they receive downwards to the medical staff in their district. Such training included multiple discussion sessions and role-plays that facilitated active learnings and practising core competencies such as assessments of severity of depression / suicide and explanations of side effects to medications to facilitate adherence.
In line with this, emerging mental health issues such as coping with trauma and stress related problems, understanding and helping the mental health problems of those physically ill, rehabilitation of people with prolonged mental illnesses and raising awareness through community mental health education problems are all now being ingrained, accepted and made accessible to the general population as part of Sri Lanka primary healthcare both in government and private hospitals.