UCL News


UCL Psychology student helps deliver pioneering mental health programme in Bali

5 October 2016

This summer, UCL student Ifkar Arifin (BSc Psychology) travelled to Bali to pioneer a mental health placement with

Ifkar Arifin on his summer placement in Bali com/" target="_self">SLV, a graduate-led volunteering organisation, which focuses on providing opportunities for psychology students and graduates to gain valuable, practical experience within the mental health sector.

Although SLV have been doing similar work in Sri Lanka for the past six years, summer 2016 was the first time volunteers were sent to Indonesia to work within the local community and provide much needed support for mental health services, which are often under resourced.

During his placement Ifkar, and other volunteers from all over the globe ran therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals suffering from a range of mental health concerns. In addition to their time at the hospital, volunteers also worked at numerous government run schools and social initiatives for children with disabilities and taught English in the local community.

Hands-on work experience

As a psychology student, it is really crucial to gain hands-on work experience in order to stand out in an incredibly competitive field. Throughout his four weeks volunteering with SLV in Bali, Ifkar acquired much sought after experience, and gained knowledge of Balinese and Indonesian culture which can only be achieved through a completely immersive experience, which included living in a local village with a Balinese family.

Speaking about his experience Ifkar said, "Summing up my time with SLV in a few sentences is hard. But I definitely enjoyed working in a different cultural setting and it has given me valuable hands on experience in order to pursue my goal in becoming a clinical psychologist. The local people there have been so hospitable and I left Bali with nothing but smiles."