Psychology undergraduate Treasa Kilgallon hopes to help change the stigma around mental health with a psychiatric hospital placement in Bali
When Treasa Kilgallon’s peers started to explore the careers and employability opportunities available at Queen’s, it got her thinking about her own future prospects. With encouragement from Queen’s staff, she decided to embark on a student placement in Bali. “There has been a serious stigma around mental health in Bali. Some families in rural areas have even locked family members in dark rooms, which they call Pausing,” Treasa explains. “The staff working in the mental health services in Bali are frequently under-staffed and under-resourced, which can lead to the service users being under-stimulated.”
Personal and professional development
After being selected for the placement,Treasa hopes the trip will allow her to offer some much-needed support to the hospital staff. “I’ll be working in psychiatric hospital and working with people with special needs, as well as teaching English. I hope I can provide resources and activities that will prove to be both therapeutic and stimulating,” she says. Adding, “Psychology gives you so many transferable skills, so you will always find something that interests you. I can’t wait to get involved in the placement and hopefully make a positive impact in local communities in Bali.”
Faculty and family support
Treasa’s trip is just one of over 600 student placements taken up by Queen’s students every year. She was encouraged to take up the post by one of her lecturers, Chris Gibbons. “He inspired me to go get experience and go out and try different things,” says Treasa. “It’s an amazing course with amazing opportunities.” Treasa’s mum, herself a Queen’s alumna, was just as supportive. “Mum did Medicine at Queen’s and always says they were the best years of her life. Her advice was to just go for it. “My mum is incredible. It is only when you are away from home that you realise how amazing that support system is.” Treasa adds, “I would love to help change the stigma around mental health. I think it should be taught from primary school so that they can accept their mental health and talk about it freely.”
The results are more than promising: “Young people who managed to get out of gangs are now going to mentor others, so I was able to send over mentoring training and another girl was able to send stuff about parenting workshops,” says Lynsey. She adds, “We are never going to solve gang violence overnight, but it is a step in the right direction.”
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