Published: 18 October 2016

Psychology student supports mental health projects in Sri Lanka

Poppy Harris in Sri Lanka

This summer, undergraduate student Poppy Harris travelled to Sri Lanka to undertake a voluntary placement supporting people with mental health issues.

Poppy, who is studying for a BSc in Psychology, spent five weeks on the island as part of a placement organised by volunteering organisation, SLV.

The placements provide psychology students and graduates with the chance to gain hands-on mental health work experience whilst being immersed in a different culture.

The volunteers helped to plan and run therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals living with a wide range of mental health issues. In addition to their time at the hospital, they also worked at numerous schools and social initiatives for children and adults with disabilities and taught English in the local community.

Poppy also lived with a host family, which gave her a unique insight into Sri Lankan culture and daily life and used her free weekends to explore the island.

Poppy said: “Volunteering in Sri Lanka on the Mental Health Placement through SLV was a brilliant decision, I was skeptical about what exactly I would be involved in before I left the UK, but it pleasingly exceeded my expectations. Not only in terms of the work I was doing out there that was so eye opening and rewarding, but that country itself is full of beautiful people, places, food and culture. It was amazing to see the difference I and other volunteers were making to Sri Lanka.”

For further information about SLV placements please visit:

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