Students embark on placement in Bali

Psychology students head to Bali to pioneer a placement to help those with mental health issues.

Date: 4 November 2016

Students, Rabia Shabbir and Francesca Feletti, travelled to Bali to pioneer a mental health placement with SLV Global, a volunteering organisation which focus on providing opportunities for psychology students and graduates to gain valuable, practical experience within the mental health sector.

Rabia and Francesca, BSc Psychology students, ran therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals suffering from a range of mental health concerns.

They also worked at numerous government-run schools and social initiatives for children with disabilities as well as teaching English to the local community.

“The idea of approaching mental health in a completely different cultural context, of meeting people of different nationalities and of doing so on the other side of the world was so exciting that I told myself that I had to get involved with it,” said Francesca.

“The biggest challenge was probably to adapt to the rhythms. The alarm was set every day at 6am, because I had to travel a little bit to reach the service users of each project.

“It is hard to say what the best part of it was because I think about the whole experience as one of the best of my life. If I had to pick one, I would say being completely immersed in a different culture and getting to know it to a proper extent. When you are a tourist you only do tourist things and it is never 100% authentic,” she continued.

Dr Chris Chandler, Head of the School of Psychology, said: “Rabia and Francesca are the most recent of our students to work with SLV.

“Both students travelled to Bali as volunteers working on mental health projects. Over the last four years SLV have provided our students with a unique opportunity to work in Sri Lanka on mental health projects, and now most recently in Bali. The experience is extremely valuable to our students and they gain immensely, both personally and professionally, from the work.

“Working in any mental health setting is challenging, but to do so overseas is an even greater challenge. They are now armed with a unique experience and journey of personal development that will increase their employability.”

Pictured: Francesca is on the far left.