A Day in the Life of a Mental Health Practitioner at an NGO
15 June 2023

Meet Elizabeth! She joined Dignity for Children Foundation in April 2021 as a practicum counselor and is now our Wellness Department Lead. She’s not just a mental health practitioner but also a nature enthusiast. You can spot her in nature - gardening, hiking, camping, or simply relaxing in parks.

We asked her a few questions about her experience working at Dignity:

Elizabeth's personal experience

1) What inspired you to become a counselor?
For as long as I can remember, I have had opportunities to journey with people through the highs and lows of their lives. It wasn't until I approached the end of my bachelor's degree that I felt strongly compelled to serve marginalized communities full-time as a mental health practitioner.

2) Describe what a typical day would look like

"It's never a dull day at Dignity!" is what I tell anyone who asks. Ideally, I plan to see 3-4 clients a day, conduct 1-2 workshop sessions a week, research best practices to improve my intervention plans, and as Wellness Lead, collaborate with Management to build and strengthen structures for enhancing our school climate.

In reality, the communities Dignity serves are highly vulnerable to numerous adversities, especially post-pandemic. Consequently, a significant portion of client cases often involves welfare issues, including child protection and safety concerns. Most of my workday is spent collaborating with relevant practitioners, clients, their families, our teachers, and the Welfare Team to enhance the well-being of the clients and their entire support system.

3) What do you find most rewarding about being a Wellness Lead?
I find it incredibly rewarding to be a witness to moments of epiphany and the subsequent positive transformations that also impact their community as my clients become more resilient. I emphasize the word "allowed" because change can only occur when clients genuinely share their experiences, permit us to offer insights, and acknowledge the changes.

4) What is the most challenging thing about being a Wellness Lead?
Limited resources and resistance from student clients and their parents...These issues can be quite challenging. I'm blessed to have a strong passion for community well-being: my passion keeps me hopeful and committed in my work.

5) If there's one thing you wish the world to know about mental health in marginalized communities, what would it be?
The availability and accessibility of quality mental health services are deeply intertwined with social, economic, and systemic factors. I hope more people will recognize that collective support for mental health initiatives can lead to advocacy efforts and policy changes that break down barriers to achieving equal quality of life. When we invest in mental health initiatives, we are investing in the well-being of individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

Join our mission 

Be part of a team dedicated to serving marginalized communites. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Visit our page: bit.ly/dignitycareer or email hr@dignityforchildren.org to find out more!

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About Dignity for Children 

Dignity for Children provides quality education to underprivileged children, transforming their lives and giving them a better future.

About Dignity

Our work began in 1998 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur with only 20 students then. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children ranging from 2-19 years old.
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