On August the 3rd 2018 I will be traveling to Ambalangoda Sri Lanka with PMGY’s Mental Health & Psychology programme. The mental health needs of Sri Lanka have been found to increase in recent decades and traditionally mental health services failed to respond to such developments. It is estimated that the tsunami of 2004 has contributed to 40% of the population suffering from common mental disorders and there is a 3% prevalence of severe mental disorders.
Medical officers of mental health (MOMHs) are little to none in Sri Lanka with a ratio of one MOMH per 70,000 people in the population. Such a ratio has led to many MOMHs often suffering from excessive workloads: there are too many patients to see in clinics and not enough valuable time spent with each patient.
On this one month long psychology programme I will be given the opportunity to gain a broad overview and insight into mental health care needs within a different culture. The programme is based in the Galle District which was one of the worst affected regions from the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and to this day has left lasting impact both physically and mentally on Sri Lankan people.
I will spend my time shadowing and observing mental health doctors during consultation periods with inward patients at Galle District Hospital and Balapatiya Government Hospital, as well as spend time at the heart of community projects working with and providing care and attention for mentally disabled children in a local school setting.
The work that I will be partaking in in Sri Lanka is on a complete voluntary basis hence the expenses towards my involvement there are costly. In such a beautiful place helping such beautiful people, this experience will allow me to benefit hugely in my chosen psychological career. Any funds helping me to achieve this goal are most appreciated! Thank you so much to all of you in advance!