Mental Health Care Support Worker

SLVeteran Brittany

Education: BA Psychology - University of Glasgow, UK. MSc Affective Disorders - Kings College London, UK. 

SLV.Global Placement: Mental Health Placement Bali, July 2016

Current Role: Mental Health Care Support Worker, Priory Group 

Tell us about your SLV.Global experience: 'During the first week we had numerous team building activities and workshops allowing the volunteers to bond with one another and get a feel for what was expected of us. The workshops provided by the SLV team covered working with mental health patients, children with special needs and teaching English as a foreign language. The training week was essential as instilled confidence in each of us as we were exposed to previous placement projects, this was useful as it encouraged me to think outside the box and generate ideas upon which I could bring to each of the project planning sessions.' 

'My favourite project was one that took place in a school for the deaf as it challenges me to me deliver projects in a way that I hadn't before ensuring that I was engaging each child equally. It was such a rewarding experience being able to successfully communicate the aim of the project through body language and non-verbal communication.'

Tell us what you gained from the placement: 'One of the main attributes that I developed during my time in Bali was definitely teamwork. Each Monday was spent lesson planning which consisted of myself and a team of others organising upcoming sessions, we aimed to have a theme for each such as ‘Outer Space’ or ‘Under the Sea’ which ensured that we maintained focus and work efficiently as a coherent whole to create engaging and stimulating projects. One word to sum up my experience would be flexibility, at times the sessions wouldn’t go to plan and we had to adapt quickly and efficiently to make sure that everyone had the best experience possible.' 

'Finally, my placement with SLV allowed me to gain an understanding of mental health from an Eastern perspective. This was something that I had not spent a lot of time considering, especially as my academic education was Western based. I feel that the opportunity to volunteer in Bali has instilled a new appreciation for a culture so diverse from my own and it has allowed me to view mental health on a wider perspective and to consider that perceptions of mental health can be altered depending on the individual and their internal beliefs.  Even though my time in Bali was short it exceeded every expectation I had and I cant thank SLV enough for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in the community.'