Freya White talks about her experience with IFC:
“Signing up to participate in the IFC placement was a huge deal for me. It was a massive step outside of my comfort zone and nothing like anything I’d done before. However, my concerns faded quickly as I got to know the group of fellow volunteers, Mirela and her lovely team.
The learning opportunities over the 4 weeks were vast. With our busy schedule of visiting institutions, care homes, clinical psychologists and attending lectures, we were continuously learning. The variety of activities meant that we were able to gain both practical and theoretical knowledge of the mental health sector in Bulgaria. Visiting the institutions were my favourite days because this sort of experience was scarce in the UK, if at all. They were also the most challenging days because we were interacting with patients and residents varying in age and disorder, as well as facing a language barrier. The challenge was great though as it gave me the confidence to work within the mental health sector in the UK, which I am now doing. Amidst our busy schedule Mirela organised a number of amazing trips and activities to give us a taste of Bulgarian culture.
On top of the amazing opportunities for learning and self-growth, I met some beautiful people whilst there, some of which I am still friends with today. I would definitely recommend IFC to any young person who is interested in mental health. Mirela and her team were amazing – so kind and generous and always there to help.
A big big thank you to IFC for offering this placement.”