Get the best out of Your SLV.Global Mental Health Placement

At SLV.Global we work very hard to make a positive impact on the local communities where we work. Therefore, our number one priority will always be the benefit to the service users. We understand that at times you may hear about a project that you’d like to try whilst in Sri Lanka or Bali that is not on your timetable or you may have learned about something a friend of yours did on a previous placement with us that you are not scheduled for. We are sympathetic to any frustration you may feel by not being able to try all the projects, but you need to be flexible and understanding of the fact that we can’t promise the exact same experience to everyone. That said, we do promise that everyone will have the exact same experience that we advertise.

What this means is that you will all be spending one day in a clinical environment and the rest of your time will be split between children’s, teaching and special needs projects. However, we can’t promise you’ll be at all the same projects as everyone else is, that’s just not possible. In Sri Lanka we work at 98 different projects around the south of the country and in Bali we work at over 35 projects, all of which valuable. There is no way to have all of our volunteers working the same 8 projects each week.

We understand that you are most invested in your own your time in Sri Lanka and Bali. However, the decisions we make as an organisation will always be in the best interest of the beneficiaries. For example; having volunteers request to change projects is not possible for obvious reasons. We allocate volunteers based on the needs of the projects concerned. Of course we have some projects where we work that are more challenging than others, this is a given. It is also assumed to be understood that this does not mean these projects are less deserving of our assistance. Please respect your timetable and embrace the projects that test you. You’ll be so glad once you leave that you did.

Just to clarify further, on the Mental Health Placement we spend one day in a clinical environment. Your day may be placed at a different hospital to others on your placement, and that is due to the fact that we work in a variety of psychiatric facilities. Where you work depends largely on where you live. We would never overcrowd a facility, which is why we spread the work we do amongst a variety of institutions. We do whatever we can to standardise the experience as much as possible, but to deny a facility our services because they happen to be smaller than another hospital or because the service users are further along in their recovery is unethical. In the west we would be pleased to see the service users making progress and moving towards discharge, we expect that you would feel the same about the service users in Sri Lanka and Bali. You wouldn’t wish your clients to be more unwell. Ever. Anywhere. Right?

All of the facilities have advantages and it’s up to you to find those and do the best you can on your placement with the resources you have. You will only disrupt your own placement if you focus on what the others on the team are doing in another area other than where you are living and working. There is not a competition between areas and all of the service users need the help you are providing through sharing your knowledge and skills. We at SLV.Global expect you to rise to the occasion and try your best even when it’s hard. We're always here to support you, but we want you to take ownership of your placement and focus on all the good that you’re doing and not how your placement might be different to a friend’s who is living elsewhere.

Remember that you were selected for a reason and we’re very excited to have you on placement with us. Not everyone got a spot and you did! So now it’s time to bring your 'A Game' and show us why you’re here.

Lee MLee