Working as a Volunteer Occupational Therapist in Sri Lanka
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Working as a Volunteer Occupational Therapist in Sri Lanka

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Sophie Allison of Central and North-West London Mental Health Trust addresses placement setting, roles and outcomes, challenges and considerations of volunteering as an OT in Sri Lanka. COT Annual ...

Sophie Allison of Central and North-West London Mental Health Trust addresses placement setting, roles and outcomes, challenges and considerations of volunteering as an OT in Sri Lanka. COT Annual Conference 2010 (22-25 June 2010)

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Working as a Volunteer Occupational Therapist in Sri Lanka Working as a Volunteer Occupational Therapist in Sri Lanka Presentation Transcript

  • Working as a Volunteer Occupational Therapist in Sri Lanka
    Sophie Allison
    Central and North-West London Mental Health Trust
  • Outline
    Description of Placement setting
    Roles and Outcomes
    Challenges and considerations
    What I gained
    Any questions?
  • Placement Description: OT in Mental Health
    • Based in Kandy Sri Lanka 2001-2004
    • Employed by NGO-Nivahana Society
    • Aims of NGO to develop, primary, secondary and tertiary mental health services in the Central Province through partnership with the Ministry of Health
    • Had used various VSO volunteers of past 10 -15 years including administrators , managers , SW, nursing and OT to share skills and develop services with local partners and organisations
  • OT Role
    To work with local OTs to share skills and support development of their services
    To support development of residential rehabilitation services
    To introduce training in mental health community rehabilitation to primary care workers
  • 1. Develop OT Services
    3 locally trained OTs in Central Province covering 2 day services
    Lack of clinical/managerial support/links to other OTs
    Space/income- reliance on income generating
    projects
    Limited allied health professionals providing psychosocial interventions
  • Volunteer actions/outcomes
    Formal /informal training goal setting, groupwork , OT models
    Assessment formats/goal sheets/documentation
    Diversifying range of therapeutic activities more structured groups with outcome measures
    Supporting managerial skills-setting standards Job descriptions/policies and procedures
  • Supporting MDT work – community training –consultancy role in rehabilitation services patient services
    Developing links with other services/ promoting role of OT /management structure
    Assisting with project proposals/funding -establishing new day centre with MDT
  • 2. Residential rehabilitation units
    2 units -adults severe and enduring - clients aiming to stay for approx 6-12months
    Remote settings- previously abandoned hospitals
    Medical officer and untrained staff
    Clients from all over the province
    Family contact variable
  • OT actions/outcomes
    • Training in concepts of rehabilitation, groupwork skills, developing the training skills of local counterparts-supporting counterparts in delivering the training
    • Diversifying the range of therapeutic activities
    • Use of individualised goals and care planning
    • Policies around admission and discharge procedures and criteria, standards of practice, operational policy
  • Multi disciplinary case reviews- weekly visits from other staff-enhancing family involvement
    Outcome measures and assessment standardised –non standardised assessments
    Co-ordinating a monthly rehabilitation committee linking up with day services
    Establishing a family support group
  • 3. Community training
    • Primary health care workers -mainly involved in child care
    • Previous training in basic mental health
    • Training changed to include child mental health
    • Focus on training the trainers and providing training packages
    • Production of information leaflets and training booklets
  • Challenges /Considerations
    • Hierarchical structure /language based/challenges for delegation
    • Political changes –local /national
    • Adjusting expectations
    • “Not another public holiday!”/pace of change
    • Sustainability
    • Being different
    • Stigma
  • What I gained
    Role opportunities that I would not have had in UK
    More flexibility- willingness to let things go-less time pressured
    More in-depth understanding of another culture-consideration of the wider family/community-alternative views to well being
  • A broader view of service development and different model /approaches
    Having time to think
    Increased clinical confidence and generic skills
    And ......