Bali experiences inspire Jessica to embrace child safety role

Published:12 September 2018

CQUni Psychology graduate Jessica Faulkner pictured (TOP and MID) during her recent Mental Health Placement in Bali with SLV.GLOBAL. BELOW: Jessica pictured at her CQUni graduation ceremony.

Aussies often head to Bali to sample its natural beauty, culture and foods but CQUni Psychology graduate Jessica Faulkner also wanted to be challenged and inspired.

Fresh from completing her Honours study and embarking on a new career in child safety, Jessica completed a 'mental health placement' in Bali through the SLV.Global organisation.

Jessica embraced the chance to gain work experience alongside health professionals in a diverse range of Balinese settings, supporting local orphans as well as adults suffering from schizophrenia and other psychological issues.

She facilitated fun, meaningful sessions to increase intellectual and social stimulation, as well as much-needed human contact with individuals who, due to a lack of resources, are often treated with medication alone.

"The month-long Bali program enabled me to use skills from my degree and previous youth work in Australia and reinforced my career aspirations," she says.

"I was trained and supported by local professionals to nurture my skills to work sensitively within another culture, and in often under-resourced facilities and challenging environments. I worked with service users of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

“My placement with SLV.Global was everything I hoped for! I made so many great friends and the programs gave me such a passion to continue a career in mental health.”

In her new role as a child safety officer, Jessica currently works with around 15 teenagers who are in foster care or youth residential care to help them transition successfully to adulthood.

"The kids I work with are coping with disability or struggling with mental health issues, alcohol or drug addictions," she says.

"I'm enjoying the challenge and the pace of my role with the Queensland Department of Child Safety."

SLV.Global is a mental health organisation which provides psychology students and graduates the opportunity to gain practical psychology work experience in various unique, professional settings abroad. Placements offer participants the chance to increase their knowledge of global mental health at the same time as putting their existing skills to good use.

SLV.Global projects all have the same focus: to promote positive mental health by boosting confidence, increasing self-esteem and improving key life skills through facilitating creative, cognitive, educational and physical sessions.