Our Bali Placement, founded in 2016, is for anyone who already has some experience working in the mental health sector, or with vulnerable individuals, and is looking to increase their understanding of global mental health. This placement involves over 40 hours of hands-on experience and training, all whilst residing in practically paradise.
You'll use, and increase, your skill-set by working at projects as diverse as the service users you'll be working with. From one of the primary psychiatric hospitals in Indonesia to government run schools for children with specific needs and community initiatives for elderly residents, you'll work with a wide range of individuals from all backgrounds, ages and abilities.
We know that key qualities like empathy, compassion, effective communication and adaptability are crucial to securing a future in the mental health sector. Our Bali Placement is an incredible opportunity to help you to hone and polish these attributes and to help you gain maximum experience in minimum time.
WHAT DOES THE PLACEMENT INVOLVE?
We're not shy about the fact that we're the only organisation on the planet that can offer you this amount of professional experience in such a remarkably beautiful place. And although there's so much more you'll get that can't ever be quantified, here's a snapshot of what you can expect from your placement:
✔︎ More than 40 hours of hands-on experience
Projects are varied, but all have the same aim - to promote positive mental health and reduce stigma in the local community. All project sessions are planned by yourself and your team and you can get as creative as you like with your ideas. Push yourself, challenge your ideas, try new things.
✔︎ Training & talks
Your whole first week is dedicated to training you up to work as successfully as possible in a totally new culture. Local mental health workers, along with our team, will give you all the tools you need to be successful working in Indonesia.
You'll have the chance to take part in weekly workshops on topics like hypnotherapy, brain mapping and meditation to give you a wider interpretation of what "mental health treatment" can entail and how it may differ in another country with limited resources.
✔︎ An intensely immersive cross-cultural experience
This is work experience with a difference and that difference is that it's in Indonesia. From the local food to your gorgeous homestays, and homestay families who think of you like you're their child, everything you'll do is legit and local. We want you to really get involved in the beauty of Balinese life. Here's your chance!
✔︎ An education in global mental health
This point cannot be overstated. Many of us come from an educational background where we have been taught to think that "West is best". However, this placement will open your eyes and your mind to other ways of looking at prevention and treatment of mental health concerns.
There is much we can learn from other approaches and methodologies and the best way to experience this is up close and in person. No mental health system is perfect, but knowing this and challenging your own ideas of what you think treatment should be and what it looks like is hugely valuable to not only you, but your future clients.
✔︎ Weekends off
You work HARD all week and deserve a break. Plus, what's the point in travelling halfway across the world if you don't get to enjoy the stunning scenery?
Your first weekend is organised by us to give you the opportunity to get to know your fellow teammates at our Adventure Break. Then, you'll be let loose each Friday afternoon and have until Sunday evening to explore as many beaches, volcanoes, nightclubs and temples as you can. This isn't a holiday, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so if you've checked out our Instagram.
The exact weekly schedule varies from placement to placement, but below is an example of what is included in a four-week placement.
Fancy even more time in paradise? We're also always looking for exceptionally dedicated Coordinators to join us for 12-weeks at reduced fees! If you're looking for an extended education in global mental health, and are a natural-born leader, this might be the opportunity for you!
You'll work at a minimum of six different weekly projects for the duration of your placement. All projects, whether they take place in one of Indonesia's only psychiatric hospitals or in a government-run school, have a similar focus, which is to promote positive mental health.
As an organisation, our focus is on mental health, not mental illness. This means all projects aim to promote overall well being and increase confidence, feelings of accomplishment, self worth and self-esteem. We know prevention is better, and far easier to facilitate, than cure. Especially in developing countries where there is such an obvious care deficit for those with mental health concerns and specific needs.
The service users you'll be working with will vary in age, background and ability and this is no coincidence. We want you to have a well-rounded experience that focuses on many elements of mental health treatment and prevention such as; education, stigma reduction, creative modalities, inclusion and role modelling.
Our projects are separated into five different categories and you can find out more about them below.
+ Activity Support (AS)
This project takes place in a clinical setting and makes up 1/6 of your weekly timetable.
Here you’ll be expected to get creative and really think about how best to help individuals who are all at varying stages of their recovery. Focus on a particular skill like improving short-term memory and form an interactive activity around this.
+ English for Development (EFD)
These projects take place in schools or vocational training institutes. English is a real commodity in Indonesia, with tourism being Bali's main enterprise. You have the tools to help provide individuals with better career prospects and increased confidence just by speaking with them. However, in addition to the practical side of English language teaching, there's also so much more you're doing, which you may not even be awaare of.
When working in developing countries, seemingly simple, daily skills, which we take for granted, can often be overlooked, but should really be prioritised. According to a report conducted by the WHO, the skills often neglected in the developing world, but intrinsically linked to mental health are: decision-making, problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, effective communication, interpersonal skills, self-awareness and coping with emotions and stress.
In our experience, we have found that our EFD projects are a great opportunity for volunteers to role model healthy social habits and behaviours with the aim of further developing these skills amongst students and encouraging progression - both personally and professionally.
+ Children's Development (CD)
We partner with a number of children's development centres, primary schools and after school clubs to provide extracurricular English lessons. Our aim is to be role models, but not caregivers to children who are often marginalised by poverty and circumstance. You'll act as a role model in these projects and work with children, through play, to increase thier self-confidence and social skills.
+ Special Education Activity Support (SEAS)
Alongside the psychiatric facility, we partner with a number of government schools for children with specific needs. With an average of 26% of inpatients who reside in UK psychiatric facilities displaying overlapping additional needs, like autism or a brain injury, this is most definitely a client group you should become familiar working with.
These projects are challenging, but will put your knowledge of developmental, and child, psychology to good use. You can use a combination of physical and mental activities to really unlock the creative potential of these service users.
+ Community Outreach (CO)
These projects take place in the local community and have been requested by community members. You could be running an after school club for kids aged 5 - 18 or facilitating yoga sessions for 60 local residentas all over the age of 65! We really don't put any stipulations on these projects. If the community feels they need the support, we'll give it to them happily.
Once a week you'll take part in a mental health-focused workshop lead by local professionals to give you a better idea of how mental health concerns are treated in Bali. As it is rare for locals to seek medical attention for any initial mental health issues, you'll be exposed to more commonly accessed alternative therapies like meditation, hypnotherapy and traditional healing to help you better understand treatment methods in Indonesia.
TALKS AND TRAINING
Your whole first week is spent getting you ready to work at your various projects. Talks from local practitioners, community leaders and experienced members of the SLV.Bali team prepare you to work, and live, successfully in an exciting new culture. The below sessions all take place in your first week.
+ OT in Bali
This workshop is lead by an Australian Doctor of Sexology, CBT practitioner and Occupational Therapist with over fifteen years of experience working with vulnerable populations in Indonesia.
This workshop is to help you get an idea of what's possible during your placement when working with people with complex mental health concerns or specific needs. This workshop will give you a really honest insight into Indonesian healthcare and subsequent treatment barriers.
+ Working With Children
This training is to help you work safely with children in Bali. There are numerous cultural differences to be aware of when working in a different coutry and this workshop aims to provide you with the knowledge to work culturally sensitively and appropriately with at-risk children in Bali.
+ English For Development
This workshop includes advice on how to structure your lessons using the British Council resources. Don’t worry, we've got your back and you’ll never teach alone. There’s safety in numbers!
+ Session Planning and Feedback
If you've worked in mental health before then you know the drill...admin is required. The Bali Placement is no different and you are a key part of how we can track our impact in the Balinese community.
You're expected to plan effective, useful sessions to run at your projects and to record what worked well and what needs further expolration and development. But don't worry, we'll help you out and it will be second nature in no time!
+ Indonesian/Balinese Lesson
We find it's best to get as immersed as you can as early as you can, so our team will lead you in a fun, interactive language lesson to equip you with some simple, key phrases to make your life easier when working and travelling in Indonesia.
What's Included in Your Placement Fee?
Please click on each heading for a full breakdown of what's included.
✔︎ Homestay Accommodation & Meals
You'll "live like a local" in a quaint and gorgeous traditional Balinese village with a family and some of your teammates during the working week. Your room and facilities will be shared with your teammates and you'll have the chance to really get to know your homestay family during your downtime or over breakfast or dinner, which is provided Monday morning to Friday morning.
You'll be out and about for lunches and, of course, weekends are yours to explore the exquisite island of Bali!
Our incredible, experienced team will be there to support you the whole time and are on call 24/7.
✔︎ Training & Talks
The Bali Placement's first week is spent training you appropriately so that you can work effectively in a differnt culture and country. You'll also get to participate in weekly workshops, which explore alternative mental health treatment methods more commonly utalised in Indonesia like meditation and hypnotherapy.
✔︎ Professional Reference
We are happy to proivide you with a reference upon completion of your placement. Our references have gone a long way to helping previous volunteers secure exciting career opportunites and you can see some of these success stories here.
✔︎ Certificate of Learning
To acknowledge your hard work and commitment throughout your placement we'll give you a certificate to prove to your friends and family that you weren't on holiday. You've worked hard, time to celebrate you!
✔︎ Adventure Break
This is a truly unique experience where you'll get to really experience Balinese culture up close. Two days are spent in picturesque hand-thatched bamboo huts in the jungle right next to a babbling brook. Here you'll get involved in a variety of local customs as well as white water rafting and hiking through your stunning surroundings.
Local transport doesn't reall exist in Bali, so we've organised drivers and private transportation for you to get to and from your projects and workshops.
What's Not Included?
Approximately £550 - £850 (depending on country of origin)
✗ Social Visa
£35-£70 (dependant on country of residence) As we're not tourists in Bali we can't volunteer on a Tourist Visa. This Socail and Cultural Visa means you're complying with local laws and is essential to you joining our team. please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date.
✗ Travel Insurance
Safety first!! £30 - £70
✗ DBS or equivalent
Safeguarding our service users is paramount. Therefore all volunteers must provide a valid DBS, or equivalent, which costs £25 in the UK.
Please check with your doctor about recommended jabs/shots and remember to mention that you'll be working in a medical environment.
✗ Spending Money
Bali is a tourist destination, so it's not dirt cheap, but it's still quite affordable to explore at £80-£100 per week. That said, there are more Kardashian-esque villas than you could count, so if you wanted to do your weekends BIG that's also an option.
Did you know you can fundraise for your placement? Have a look at our Fundraisers' Hall of Fame for some inspiration from past volunteers who have successfully raised the funds!
Living in an authentic Balinese village is an experience you wouldn't get as a tourist. The beautiful village is located in the heart of Bali and is everything we imagine you're imagining and more. It's quaint, friendly and everyone wants to get to know you.
You'll be living in a family compound, so you'll have your own space, but can also get involved with family life if you fancy. Sometimes three generations live just outside your door, so be prepared to mix with children and elderly residents in addition to your homestay parents. Bali is also home to every animal you can think of, so if furry friends are your cup of tea, you're in the right place.
Breakfast and dinner is provided during the working week, but weekends are a time for the homestay family to take a break and for you to head out of the homestay and check out the immeasurably idyllic scenery of the island and beyond. With countless beaches to lie on, loads of mountains and volcanoes to climb, plenty of epic nightlife and waterfalls to chase, you'll never be bored. Your weekends are where you can relax and let the stresses of the working week melt away while making your Instagram followers uber #jelly.
WHY WE'RE UNIQUE
We pride ourselves on being one-offs. Sure, there are other voluntary organisations out there, but none with an exclusive focus on global mental health and none as well respected within the local community. If you're going to invest your time and money, do it with the best!
But don't just take our word for it. Check out reviews from pervious team members on Facebook and Reviews.co.uk or check out our Partners page to see the numerous international universities who trust us to provide their students with the valuable experience needed to set them apart in such a competitive field.
We don't mean to toot our own horns too much, but here are a few of the reasons we're pretty special.
+ We’re the only ones 🙋🏽♂️
We are the only organisation that can offer this amount of hands-on experience for those looking to pursue a career in mental health. We deliver what we promise and, if you don't want to take our word for it, then check out over 600 reviews on our Facebook page alone.
+ We’re focused on sustainability 🌍
We are focused on providing an ethical experience for volunteers. Unlike other organisations we don't take jobs from the local population and only work at pre-existing initiatives to bolster support for service users. We also support training programs within the country to he;p increase the skill set of the local workers.
+ We prioritise experience, not a holiday 🏨
No #selfies, no saviours just socially conscious professionals.
+ We’re knowledgeable 🦉
We were founded by psychology students and graduates and we are invested in every step of your placement. The people you speak to on the phone, and who wrote this very pack have all been to Bali and know the challenges and the triumphs of working at the exact projects you are.
+ We’re responsible 💁🏽
We train you well. It is in our best interest to send only skilled volunteers to work in Bali.
No matter your current skill level, working in a new culture is a whole new experience, and no matter your background, it’s important you be prepared to work sensitively within the culture, which is why the first week you are in country is dedicated to training.
The majority of our team is also Balinese, which is so important to us and means that we're investing in the people in the countries where we work.
+ We’re authentic 💯
On our placements you’ll live “like a local.” We want you to have a bona fide, immersive Indonesian experience. You'll live with a local family, eat traditional food and dress modestly despite the heat. We hope this is one of the reasons you’re looking at joining us and not browsing all-inclusive holidays to the Caribbean.
+ We learn as much as we contribute 👨🏽🎓
Our volunteers gain as much from this experience as they give, sometimes more. Leave your Western expectations and ideals at the airport and open yourself up to an incredibly enlightening cross-cultural experience that can open your mind in ways you may have never expected. You’ll be glad you did!
+ We support you the whole way 👯
We have an exceptional team who are always available to help with any questions you may have before you depart and we guarantee you’ll only ever speak to people who have volunteered with SLV.Global before.
Of course we’re always there for you once you are in country too. There’s an awesome support system available and, as we mentioned, over 60% of our team is Balinese. No one knows the country like these guys, so once you arrive we’ve got you covered and are on call 24/7.
Bali isn't known as the "Isle of the Gods" for nothing. Bali's beauty is unrivalled and is often the backdrop of envy-inducing honeymoon pics, but all that glitters is not gold. There is a distinct lack of understanding about mental health issues in Bali and few facilities where people can seek treatment if they need it.
Traditional healers are more commonly consulted than doctors for anything psychological, which means that those who need help are often ill for extended periods before ever seeing a medical professional. Our volunteers work in Bali's only inpatient psychiatric facility, as well as over twenty other initiatives for at-risk children and people with specific needs, to assist the exceptionally dedicated teams by running creative, interactive, therapeutic activities to provide much needed stimulation and human contact for service users.