In December 2016 I will be volunteering for an organisation
called Sri Lanka Volunteers (SLV). This organisation helps students and
graduates gain a variety of skills and knowledge in a completely different
culture. I will be joining SLV for a Mental health placement, which will mean
working at a psychiatric hospital, a rehabilitation centre, youth teaching,
children’s teaching and special needs work for five weeks!
After finishing my degree in Occupational therapy I am
looking to not only develop my skills in mental health but also to learn new
skills revolving around culture and trauma. When completing my dissertation in
my final year of University, titled: How can culture be used as an enabler in
mental health Occupational therapy with immigrant clients, I realised how many
Western Occupational therapists ignore culture or view culture as a barrier
within therapy. My belief is culture is a fundamental part of someone’s
identity and with better cultural awareness we can develop our understanding of
mental health, particularly with individuals from different countries.
The individuals that I will have the pleasure to work with
will be experiencing various mental health problems. Many of these individuals
will have psychosocial needs due to being trauma sufferers for example; tsunami
survivors and people who have experienced civil-conflict. I will be running
activities for these individuals use as; sensory, music and creative.
Furthermore, I will be working with individuals who are marginalised within Sri
Lankan society, working on teaching English to young people and individuals
with additional needs.
Mental health systems within the UK are progressing however,
still many face stigma on a regular basis. These facilities are still far more
developed than those in Sri Lanka, there are limited resources and many of the
citizens have to deal with the emotional and mental scars left by the brutal 25
year civil war and the devastating effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
By donating you will be helping towards allowing me to make
a difference with those most marginalised within Sri Lankan society. Thank you,
in advance for your kindness and support!
Peace, LOVE and spaceships, Cheyenne x