Being psychology graduates ourselves, we understand better than most how difficult it can be to source hands-on experience in the mental health sector. As a result we've created placements for all levels of education and experience on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. 

Each of our placements in Sri Lanka involve 30-90 hours hands on experience working in a variety in projects including, working in psychiatric facilities, teaching English in the community and working with individuals who have additional needs.

We run 4 & 8 week placements and for our peer mentors, that support volunteers, the placement is 12 weeks. All placements include seminars, workshops and field trips to broaden your knowledge of global mental health. Volunteers on the 8 week or peer mentor placement attend more workshops, seminars and recive a supervision session from a clinical psychologist. 


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 30-60+ Hours Hands on Experience

Training, talks & trips

Additional Workshops & training for 8 Weeks volunteers & Peer Mentors

Homestay Accommodation, Support & Sri Lanka

What's included, the costs & how to apply



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We are determined to provide all volunteers with over 30 hours experience that benefits the community as much as it does your CV. Every placement is varied, which means you’ll be working at a number of different projects each week. This serves to provide you with a well-rounded mental health experience as well as ensuring that we are providing the community with assistance where it is most needed. 

Depending on your level of experience you will be placed on either Level 1 or Level 2. Level 1 is  for individuals who have less hands-on experience, but a good working knowledge of psychology. The projects involve working with service users further along in their recovery and in community mental health programs. Level 2 is for people with over 3 months prior experience working with vulnerable people. These projects can often be challenging though there will always be support.


Sample Weekly Project Timetable

Morning Afternoon
Monday Session Planning EFD
Tuesday CD SEAS
Wednesday AS AS
Thursday EFD Workshop
Friday SEAS Explore Sri Lanka
Saturday & Sunday Explore Sri Lanka Explore Sri Lanka


+ Activity Support (AS)

These projects take place in a psychiatric clinical setting or in the community. You’ll be expected to get creative and really think about how best to help individuals who are all at varying stages in their recovery. Focus on a particular skill like improving short-term memory and form an interactive activity around this.

+ English for Development (EFD)

You might be teaching English to students at a school or it could be people from the local community, aged 40+, some who come from miles for your lessons. English is a real commodity in Sri Lanka and you have the tools to help provide individuals with better career prospects and increased confidence just by speaking with them!

+ Children's Development (CD)

We partner with a number of children's residential centres, primary schools and after school clubs to provide extracurricular English lessons. Our aim is to be role models, but not caregivers to children who are often marginalised by poverty and circumstance. There are also opportunities to coach sports such as swimming, football and cricket.

+ Special Needs Work (SEAS)

Alongside the psychiatric faciily, you'll work in a number of schools and initiatives for those with specific needs. With an average of 26% of inpatients residing in UK psychiatric facilities having overlapping additional needs, like autism or a brain injury, this is most definitely a client group you should become familiar working with.

These projects are challenging, but will put your knowledge of developmental psychology to good use. You can use a combination of physical and mental activities to really unlock the creative potential of these service users.

Training, Talks & Trips

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Throughout a placement volunteers will attend a series of talks, seminars and field trips by Mental Health professionals that are designed to give you an insight into global mental health and to expand your understanding of how different cultures approach the treatment of mental illness. These are Run in partnership with Samutthana, the King’s College London Centre for Trauma, Displacement and Mental Health.

Training in your first week is dedicated to increasing your knowledge and confidence so you're ready to work at your projects. We understand that most of you have loads of useful experience already, but this training has been created to ensure you also work sensitively within the culture. 

1st Week Orientation Schedule

Morning Afternoon
Monday Airport Pick Up - Taken to homestay Relax for the day & shown around by Peer Mentor
Tuesday Group workshops at Hotel Homestay Orientation & Dinner
Wednesday Supported Session at Project & Debrief Supported Session at Project & Debrief
Thursday Supported Session at Project & Debrief Workshop
Friday Supported Session at Project & Debrief Workshop & go to Jungle
Saturday & Sunday Jungle Weekend Jungle Weekend

Orientation Workshops

Workshops are led by the SLV.Global Permanent Team and external professionals. Include; working with vulnerable people in a Sri Lankan context This workshop is led by a Sri Lankan speech and language pathologist who works internationally and is an expert in his field. This workshop provides an overview of how best to work with people culturally sensitively as well as how to work with staff at the facilities where you’ll be running your sessions.

Supported Sessions & Debrief

In your first week you’ll visit projects and assist the permanent or peer mentors run sessions before you and your team run your own sessions.

Jungle Weekend

After your first week in Sri Lanka you and your team will set out to face the Sri Lankan jungle! This weekend is included in your placement fees and is two full days and nights of adrenaline-fuelled adventure. Get stuck into as many activities as you like. Cliff jumps and whitewater rafting are just some of the things you'll have the opportunity to do on this rowdy, jam-packed weekend. This is your chance to get to know everyone who arrived with you. You're all quite literally in the same boat.

Placement Workshops, Field Trips & Seminars

On the Mental Health Placement you will have the opportunity to attend field trip, seminars and workshops by Mental Health professionals that are designed to give you an insight into global mental health and to expand your understanding of how different cultures approach the treatment of mental illness. These are Run in partnership with Samutthana, the King’s College London Centre for Trauma, Displacement and Mental Health.

On every placement

Meditation Afternoon

Field Trip

Samutthana Talk

Creative Therapy Workshop

Beach Party!

Additional extras on the 8 week & peer mentor placement

The field trip also includes an opportunity to shadow

Psychologist Supervisor Session

Additional professional seminar

Immersive Samutthana afternoon



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Why Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka, otherwise known as the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean," is a teardrop island with a heart of gold. But paradoxically to its paradisiacal appearance and chilled vibe there is turbulence in Sri Lanka's history. Still recovering from a 25-year civil war, and with the wounds from the 2004 tsunami not yet healed, Sri Lanka's population is in need of more psychological support than current resources can provide. 

With few psychologists in residence, the primary method of treatment for those with mental health issues is pharmacological. Beds in psychiatric hospitals are scarce and although the community often rallies and aims to provide some respite for the families in need, the lack of formally qualified mental health professionals is apparent. 

Our volunteers work at a number of psychiatric facilities and community initiatives to reduce stigma and to bolster current resources. Our teams work with local professionals to provide much needed stimulation and human contact to improve wellbeing and increase self-esteem. 

Homestay Accommodation

All of our volunteers get to live with local Sri Lankan families as well as fellow volunteers. It’s important to us that you are immersed in the culture from the moment you arrive. It’s not the Ritz, but it’s comfy and has everything you need - a western toilet, a bed in a shared room and space to chill out with your housemates and family. Your family will provide you with breakfast and dinner during the week and the weekend is yours to go off and explore Sri Lanka. There’s a lot to see on this teardrop island, so take advantage of your time off!

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We have an exceptional team who are always available to help with any questions you may have before you depart and we guarantee you’ll only ever speak to people who have volunteered with SLV.Global before.

Of course we’re always there for you once you are in country too. There’s an awesome support system available and really proud that over 80% of our team is Sri Lankan. No one knows the country like these guys, so once you arrive we’ve got you covered and are on call 24/7.

What's Included & How to Apply

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What's Included in Your Program Fees?

✔︎ Homestay Accomodation & Meals

Volunteers live with local family whose homes can accomodate anywheere from 6-20 volunteers. You'll share a room with your fellow team members and your homestay family will provide breakfast and traditional Sri Lankan dinner during the working week.

✔︎ Support

Our incredible team will be there to support you the whole time and are on call 24/7.

✔︎ Training, Trips & Talks

All placements come with additional training, trips and talks. There are some additional talks that external organisations host that require an additional donation.

✔︎ Certificate of Learning & farewell beach party!

To celebrate your commitment what better thing to do than throw a party and give you a certificate. We also will be a referee for the next 2 years post placement.

✔︎ Jungle Weekend

The first weekend is the only one that we organise for you. Thibnk white water rafting, rock sliding and a BBQ under the stars.

✔︎ Visa Extensions

All volunteers staying over 30 days will need to extend their visa to a Residence visa. We will apply and pay on your behalf and the cost is covered by us.

✔︎ Transport

From the airport to your homestay, to SLV.Global organised workshops an to the Jungle Weekend!

What's Not Included? 

✗ Flights

Approximately £450 - £750 (depending on country of origin)

✗ Entry Visa

The cost of the Entry Visa is £45 You'll apply for this yourself directly from the Sri Lankan High Commission. Please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date.

✗ Travel Insurance

Safety first!! £30 - £70

✗ DBS or equivalent


✗ Jabs/Shots

Please check with your doctor about recommended jabs and remember to mention that you'll be working in a medical environment.

✗ Daily Buses / Tuk Tuks

Volunteers fund their own transport to and from projects roughly 50p - £2 a day

✗ Spending Money

You may want to just pick up a few souvenirs or you might want to check into a stunning spa for the weekend. Whatever your budget, India remains incredibly affordable.

Apply Now

Great to see that you are keen to join our team! Follow these quick steps to apply.

1) Fill out this online form
2) Schedule a phone interview with one of our team. No need to be nervous - read our blog for more info!
3) Successful applicants will be emailed the next steps 

By submitting this form you are confirming that you are over 18. If you have any questions or if you are unable to fill out this form please email