Experimental Psychology Graduate

SLVeteran Jessica

SLVeteran-Jessica-Verdugo

Education: Experiemental Psychology - University of Bristol, UK

SLV.Global Placement: Mental Health Placement, July 2015

Tell us about your SLV.Global experience: ‘In July 2015, three days following graduating in Psychology, I embarked on the 5 week Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka, with SLV. The first week was filled with workshops that covered working with mental health patients, children with special needs and teaching English as a foreign language. These workshops were really useful as they provided me with ideas upon which I could build innovative plans and deliver engaging projects. My favourite workshop was in creative therapy as I learned how to incorporate art and music into the projects. It was new, fun and really interactive. 
A highlight of my time with SLV was experiencing the Jungle! After keeping focused in the week, everyone let their hair down on the weekend. We bonded in the rapids and faced our fears rock sliding from heights.’

Tell us what you gained from the placement: ‘After each enjoyable weekend, we spent Monday mornings planning classes for the projects. During these sessions I developed great teamwork skills as everyone in the team participated, bouncing ideas off of one another. My team always tried to have themes for the projects such as ‘Under the Sea’ or ‘Countries Around the World’. This helped in producing structure, clarity and objectives for the class.’

‘Working in psychiatric wards in Sri Lanka provided me with a great insight into working with adults with psychosis. Throughout these projects, I grew in confidence as I invented ways of coping with different, often challenging situations. As well as being great practical experience,  which would help me pursue a career in clinical psychology.’

‘Overall, living in Sri Lanka for five weeks surpassed my expectations! It’s an amazing country,  and while the packed buses took some time getting used to, living like a Sri Lankan local added so much value to my whole experience.’