Our placement student puts “Biz in the Pris”
We are delighted to be able to support our undergraduate Psychology students during their one year placements. In 2018/19, Zoe Gray sourced her placement as Psychology Student Placement with the Prison Healthcare within the South Eastern Trust.
During Zoe’s placement, she had the opportunity to deliver a healthcare initiative in Hydebank Wood College. This project educated people in custody about the consequences of misusing prescription medication by co-producing a comic book with the residents of Hydebank.
The comic was launched in Hydebank Wood College with three young men in custody and eight other services who worked together to produce the comic book, ‘Biz in the Pris’. The project won the 'Public Health Agency’s Involvefest Chairman’s Community and Voluntary Sectors’ Involvement Award'.
Zoe, now in her final year, said about her placement:
“I decided to take a placement year as I did not feel I was ready to graduate and I wanted some real life experience first. I chose to pursue any placements with a forensic element, as I have passion and interest in this area. I was incredibly lucky to be the first undergraduate placement student in Prison Healthcare. My placement did involve admin but I also had a lot of freedom in the projects I could get involved with.
My manager was extremely encouraging and allowed me to tailor my placement specifically to my talents and strengths. I enjoyed the challenge of managing my own project. It was a really rewarding experience to co-produce the comic book with the young men in custody and staff in Hydebank Wood College.
As the comic book’s theme was the “use and misuse of prescription medication”, I was able to learn about addiction and from this experience I was able to obtain a part-time job as support worker, in a supported living facility for those in recovery from drug and or alcohol addiction.
I learnt that mental health and addiction go hand in hand and are the two biggest factors that lead to reoffending. Before my placement I had very narrow view of the world. I now have a better understanding of trauma, self-harm, and addiction. I hope to continue down a career path that will allow me to work within prisons and help people who experienced trauma. I would highly recommend taking a placement year to any Level 2 student.
My placement year allowed me to gain a wealth of experience that I will be able to transfer to any future job. I also became aware of new skills, like my creativity which is a great asset when working with people.
Before my placement I never considered working in addictions and now I love my new role as a support worker working with adults who have struggled with alcohol and/or drugs.
Psychology is such a great course as it applies to everything so the opportunities available for possible placements are endless. The best piece of advice I could offer to anyone considering taking a placement year is start looking as early as possible, be proactive, get creative - not every opportunity will be labelled as a psychology placement and there is no shame in asking family, friends or acquaintances for help to get a placement”.
If you are interested in learning more about a placement opportunity within your organisation or to go on placement in Level 3, visit: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/psy/BusinessCareers/WorkPlacements/ or contact Patricia Castle at email@example.com