Clinical Psychiatrist Dr. Jegan Heads North

Clinical Psychologist Dr Kemmis & Lucy discuss the Dr Jegan field trip earlier this year in London.

SLV sent our first teams out to Sri Lanka in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2012 that The SLV Mental Health Placement was born. As a fairly new organisation we were over the moon to be partnering with Samutthana, The King’s College London Centre for Trauma, Displacement and Mental Health. Samutthana provides our volunteers the opportunity to attend workshops to help develop their skills as future psychologists. Since we joined together, Samutthana have been extremely generous with their time and resources. However, one individual has exceeded even our most ambitions expectations, often working with our volunteers on his days off or taking them to work with him at the weekend. This man is the incomparable clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Jegan.

For the past three years we have been fortunate enough to work alongside Dr. Jegan as he continued his outreach work. A total pioneer of community mental health treatment in Sri Lanka, we’ve been able to observe first-hand his labour of compassion grow. A worthy winner of multiple awards for his efforts, he still always found time to facilitate field visits with our volunteers.

No question was ever off limits and nothing was too much trouble for Dr. Jegan. He was very inclusive of SLV volunteers as he treated service users, allowing them to observe as he worked. Dr. Jegan gave us unprecedented access to his practice and to himself and for this we will always be grateful. Unfortunately for us, Dr. Jegan is being relocated to the north of the country so he can continue the ground-breaking and inspiring work he does in a community much in need of his support. This means that SLV’s time with Dr. Jegan is limited, but our work with Samutthana will continue long into the future.

It has been our extreme pleasure and privilege to work with Dr. Jegan over the past few years and we will certainly miss him. We wish him all the best in his new home and want to thank him so very much for all of his hard work in the Sri Lankan community and with SLV. And although he can never be replaced, we are excited about what’s to come for future.

Lee MLee