Original Articles

Career Development for Psychology Students through an Inpatient Mental Health Volunteer Programme

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 20, issue 3, 2010 , pages: 447–451
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2010.10820397
Author(s): Anthony L. PillayUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal,, Anna Maria KritzingerUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal,


We report on a volunteer programme for undergraduate psychology students, as a prospective career pathway into the inpatient mental health context. Data on motives for joining the programme, as well as their expectations and career plans were collected from 56 students (mainly under 25 years of age; approximately 80% females) in a volunteer placement within an inpatient mental health setting. About 89.3% of the volunteers reported being on the programme to enhance their applications for postgraduate training prospects in the same field. Only 10.7% were motivated primarily by the desire to help mentally ill patients. Over three-quarters planned to pursue postgraduate training in clinical psychology.

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