Project Bloom has its beginnings in 2017, after a group of likeminded school-leavers decided to spend their time volunteering at the Adolescent Psychiatry Unit of the National Institute of Mental Health in Mulleriyawa, Sri Lanka. The goal was simple: to spend time with the adolescents and carry out activities such as teaching simple maths and English or helping them create art, to hopefully ease the discomfort associated with being in a health institution. It also provided an opportunity for the kids to meet and interact with people other than the many health professionals they may come across during their stay at the NIMH.
Since our inception, we have carried out more than 90 sessions in total at the NIMH, a 10 day training workshop on the basics of utilizing art as therapy as well as participation in other workshops conducted by individuals and organizations which focused on the basics of counselling communication. Along with our grass-roots approach to matters, advocacy for adolescent mental health awareness through social media has also played an important part in our project.
We are positive that the contributions of our volunteers have had a lasting and beneficial impact on the lives of many in Sri Lanka.
We have made incredible progress in 2019 in terms of our volunteering activities. Progress in terms of volunteer numbers and the quality of our volunteering activities, especially at our NIMH Sunday sessions at the Adolescent Unit, was the highlight of our project last year.
We have compiled a Progress Report for 2019. This is an analysis of our impact on the mental health awareness sphere in Sri Lanka.