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UKSLTG Project

UKSLTG Project

 

The UK-SLTG is a group of dedicated volunteers (the majority of whom are mental health practitioners) who offer their time and expertise to help develop mental health services in Sri Lanka. UKSLTG have no administration costs or paid members of staff in the UK. All money raised through fundraising or grant applications goes directly to support our work in Sri Lanka.

After enduring the civil war conflict for over 30 years and the devastations of the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami, the repercussions on the mental health of the population are still emerging (Samarasekare et al., 2012). Despite the evidential high level of mental health need in the Sri Lankan population, there is a shortage of trained mental health professional, at present there is only one psychiatrist for every 500,000 people (Silva, 2010). This deficit is exacerbated by geographical inequity, with the majority of professionals located in urban settings (Zolnierek, 2008; Silva, 2010 in Samarasekare et al., 2012).

Blossom Trust co-ordinate with UKSLTG to support one mental health camp program per year specifically targeting the north east part of Sri Lanka. We have been supporting this project since 2014.

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Counselling group

A group photo taken at the end of the workshop. All feeling exhausted but accomplished. Our three trainers are in the middle from left to right: Dr Rebecca Johnson (Clinical Psychologist), Dr Timothy Kember (Clinical Psychologist) and Ms Louise Gordon (Assistant Psychologist).


Group discussion

Counsellors split off into small groups to think about what happens in our mind and body during a trauma. They drew a diagram of a body, labelling where you would feel it e.g. A trembling in your stomach. They presented it back to the bigger group and there were prizes for the most artistically drawn body!


Energiser

Energisers were used these throughout the week to keep energy levels up, especially after big rice and curry lunches. The group were very up for being silly and taking part.


Interactive exercise on traumatic memories

Volunteers wearing hats to signify a particular element of a trauma memory that could trouble someone e.g a feeling of pain, a flash of light, a frightening thought. Several people are then tied together to show how one trigger will cause flashbacks to several parts of the trauma.


Interactive exercise on tangles memories

What happens after multiple traumas - elements of different traumas become tangled up. So when a person has a trigger to one element, it causes flashbacks and intrusions to all traumas. The traumas stop being seen as separate events and become tangled up like a spiders web.


Practising with flowers and stones

Counsellors were taught about the theory of laying a 'lifeline' with your client - this is a key NET technique using rocks to represent traumas and flowers to represent positive events. Becky then did a roleplay with a volunteer to show how it looks, and then they went into pairs to roleplay and practice the techniques so they feel confident doing it with their clients.

 
 
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