Psychology student puts her knowledge into practice by helping those with mental health concerns in Sri Lanka

A student from our University has been heavily involved with mental-health focused initiatives in Sri Lanka as part of her placement year.

Psychology student Chandini Subramanyam travelled to Sri Lanka to gain hands-on psychology work experience with SLV.Global. SLV.Global  is a psychology-focused organisation working in Sri Lanka, India, Bali and Indonesia founded by Psychology graduates in 2010.

As part of an international team of Psychology students and graduates, Chandini took part in various mental health-focused initiatives designed to promote positive mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and disability.

To ensure that Chandini had the knowledge to work effectively, professionally, and in a culturally sensitive manner, she attended training sessions run by various NGOs and local professionals in the first week of her placement.

Training topics included: working with vulnerable children, working with people with special needs, trauma from a Sri Lankan perspective and Sri Lankan cultural awareness.

Throughout her time abroad, Chandini experienced global mental health treatment first-hand working as an Activity Support Worker. This role involved running therapeutic activities at inpatient psychiatric facilities and residential centres for individuals with a wide range of disabilities.Taking a humanistic approach to mental health care, Chandini and her fellow teammates ran sessions designed to provide mood elevation, increased self-esteem and overall improved wellbeing to those suffering with mental health issues.

Alongside providing psychological care, Chandini also undertook a supporting role in the wider community- helping local youths with their spoken English skills.

Speaking about her time in Sri Lanka, Chandini said: “SLV.Global was a life-changing, eye-opening experience. To have made a difference to people who need help over in Sri Lanka and that too in such a small time-frame is something I will take with me forever. I can't wait to go back!”