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Lately, the NHS and the mental health services have come under great scrutiny. There are claims that mental health care is severely underfunded yet it is something that expats may benefit from. There are a growing number of counsellors and therapists all over the world, who specialise in supporting expats and their mental well-being.
There is a common misconception that expats have a glamorous life. They are living abroad in an exotic country, mixing with the locals and immersing in new cultural experiences with a better salary and chances of promotion. However, all these changes can be chaotic and very new.
In fact, an expat’s life is turned on its head. Even everyday routines are drastically altered. The quality of living may be different and certainly, the quality of medical care and hospitals can be so unlike that of which you were used to. This is particularly true if you are moving away from West.
Mental health is an arbitrary term and unfortunately one that has negative connotations. However, mental well-being, whether at home or abroad, is of importance, but is something that is often not included under the country’s public healthcare system.
It is not uncommon to feel very out of your comfort zone and lonely when you first move abroad. You are in a new environment and quite often, established relationships come under pressure and building new ones can be a daunting task. There may be a language barrier, the lack of familiar faces and a fear to trust. All form of security is left behind at home. All these struggles can lead to the likes of sadness and fear and even depression. They are unavoidable with life troubles, especially when you are cut off from the established support system built up by friends and family back home.
There is an innate need for social connection and friendship among all human beings. Some are naturally gifted with talking to strangers and are quick to break down barriers whilst others are shyer and struggle to make a deeper connection. A stark cultural difference and unusual norms and customs can make the task even harder. In fact, it is not uncommon for international relationships to have a hit and miss element to them. If you are moving with kids, the situation becomes more complex.
Some expat medical insurance policies will include mental health care so research is key. A simple counselling session can help with these added stresses that are piling up on top of work and home pressure. It offers an opportunity to unburden your worries and actually be listened to by someone who understands you and your struggles. At the end of it, a solution as a means of moving forward can be worked out.
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Expatriate Group & Expatriate Healthcare are trading styles of Strategic Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). FCA Firm reference Number is 307133. Strategic Insurance Services Limited is authorised to carry on Regulated Activities in accordance with the permissions granted by the FCA under PART IV of the Financial Services and Markets ACT 2000.