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What is mental health volunteering?
Our Mental Health Placements all involve mental health volunteering with communities abroad. So...what does volunteering in the mental health sector involve? You get to use the skills you've gained as a psychology student or graduate to promote positive mental health in communities where resources for those with mental health concerns and specific needs may be lacking.
Our placements are all slightly different, but are designed to provide maximum benefit to both the communities where we work and to your CV. We work in a variety of settings with diverse client groups to ensure that we are having the best, most sustainable impact. Volunteers work on seven weekly projects and aim to positively impact service users in the following ways:
• Improve self-esteem and self-worth through providing individual attention and helping them to master skills.
• Improve mood through physical exercise and social interaction.
• Enhance social skills and communication.
• Develop cognitive, social, and gross and fine motor skills by developing and facilitating interactive, creative and stimulating sessions.
We encourage our volunteers to get as imaginative as possible when planning activities and to consider how sessions are supporting the service users in real, measurable ways.
When completing mental health volunteering abroad, volunteers join us for four or eight weeks and work directly with service users. There's no shadowing here, as the mental health services in the countries where we work are notoriously under-resourced. Our role is to bolster these resources and work alongside the local professionals. Through mental health volunteering we are guaranteeing that we do not take jobs from the community and only contribute where we're needed and wanted.
Former volunteers have used the experience they gained by mental health volunteering to enter the workforce at every level from Assistant Psychologist to Behaviour Interventionist and, of course, many have gone on to complete various masters and doctorates. Go on and check out their stories below and if you get inspired, go ahead and apply. What have you got to lose?
All of our SLVeterans are former SLV.Global volunteers who have utilised the experience, which they gained mental health volunteering with us, in different ways to help further their careers and/or progress in their studies. We're so proud of all of our past team members and are consistently inspired by what they achieve.
Here you can take a look at some of what our former team members have been up to since their placement concluded. If you were on our team before and want to showcase your achievements since please get in touch with Aurora on [email protected] and we'll happily add you to this prestigious group of SLVIPs!
How can mental health volunteering help me in my career?
According to LinkedIn "1 in 5 managers hired someone based on their volunteering experiences." That’s 20% of people who obtained their current position based on previous volunteer efforts. Impressive!
Getting involved in voluntary work will ultimately help you get paid work. According to a recent survey by LinkedIn, nearly 2,000 U.S. professionals were polled and 41% said that when they are evaluating candidates, they consider previous volunteer work just as much as paid work. You only need to look at that 1 in 5 figure to know that’s true.
We, at SLV.Global, know how hard it can be to get a job in the mental health sector. In fact, that's how this organisation was born! Over the past 10 years we've been helping dedicated, passionate volunteers get the career they want through mental health volunteering.
In todays' multi-cultural society having lived and worked in another country, and culture, is hugely advantageous. How likely is it that your client group will reflect you both ethnically and culturally? Not very. This is one of the reasons why undertaking one of our Mental Health Placements and doing some mental health volunteering can help you to get ahead and set you apart from your peers.
Learning to work with people of all backgrounds and ages teaches you versatility, adaptability, patience, compassion and increases your ability to communicate more effectively, especially non-verbally. On our placements you'll work side-by-side with our incredible team, who are all local university graduates and you'll be working in the community with anyone from a child looking to learn English to an inpatient in a psychiatric facility. Both client groups are equally important and require you to tap into different skills.
We're proud that our placements focus on prevention, not cure, so much of what we do involves building up the key life skills of service users and increasing overall confidence and positive self-regard. The mental health volunteering our volunteers do is never the same from day-to-day, which although challenging at times, is never boring. We hope that if you're looking for a new challenge in mental health we might just be what you're looking for.
Mental Health Volunteering Blog
These blogs explore various topics to do with mental health volunteering. Many of them relate to how relevant participating in an SLV.Global placement is to a career in mental health, so please read up! Then apply to join us.
Feeling inspired? Just fill in the form below to start your application and someone from our team will get back to you as soon as possible.