Psychology student ventures overseas for much desired experience

Monday, 26 October 2015

Jessica-Hinds-Sri-Lanka

This summer, Oxford Brookes Psychology graduate Jessica Hinds took part in a mental health work experience placement in Sri Lanka organised by Student and Graduate Placements Abroad (SLV).

Jessica took the opportunity to gain the crucial work experience needed to further her psychology education and travelled further afield. For five weeks Jessica shared her skills at psychiatric hospitals and ran therapeutic activity sessions at centres for individuals with various specific needs. 

Although it isn’t necessarily all about psychology, the experience was absolutely amazing and I learnt so much about mental health, a beautiful country and myself.

Jessica Hinds, Psychology graduate, Oxford Brookes University

Of her experience working in Sri Lanka, Jessica said: “Although it isn’t necessarily all about psychology, the experience was absolutely amazing and I learnt so much about mental health, a beautiful country and myself. 

“At times, the projects seem impossibly challenging but they are so rewarding and once you’ve considered the bigger picture and the difference SLV as a company are making, it’s all worth it. 

“I’ve met the most amazing, like-minded individuals and I wouldn’t change my experience for the world.”

Mental health in Sri Lanka is in it’s infancy with widespread stigma for those suffering with mental health and just one psychiatrist for every 500,000 people. 

The SLV Mental Health Placement is partnered with the King’s College London Resource Centre Centre for Trauma, Displacement and Mental Health. Jessica was trained and supported by Sri Lankan mental health professionals to help equip her with the skills to work sensitively within the Sri Lankan culture, and in thoroughly under-resourced facilities and challenging environments. 

SLV is a volunteer organisation founded in 2010 by psychology graduates and run activity-based projects in over 100 facilities throughout the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.

Information about undergraduate and postgraduate courses in psychology can be found on the Oxford Brookes University Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health webpages.