Expatriate Support Services provided via Skype
The expat life is usually seen as one of privilege.
Rarely is the mental health challenges of moving away from your support network to unfamiliar surroundings considered.
Depression, anxiety, nervousness, social isolation, hyper-vigilance and feeling unable to cope is very often self-medicated with alcohol and drugs.
Being away from family and trusted friends makes dealing with loss and grief even more difficult than usual.
Expat communities are VERY DIFFERENT to what is considered the norm.
Substance abuse within expat communities is common and very often ignored, or socially accepted as entertainment to the detriment of family relationships.
Trailing spouses struggle immensely!
Establishing a trustworthy and confidential support network to deal with mental health challenges within an expat community can be very difficult.
More so if there is a language and/or cultural barrier between you and the local social services, or if the health care support is provided by your employer.
Dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety in an environment where you feel unsupported amplifies the condition.
Divorce rates in expat communities is high.
The challenges of children raised in a 3rd culture is also very different to children who live in stable environments.
Returning to the home country to re-establish life is often MORE difficult that initially leaving.
Self-care, self-awareness, cultural sensitivity and a strong support network is necessary for mental and behavioural health. It is also necessary for the service provider to have personal experience and a cultural frame of reference in order to support you; by understanding your personal condition and your personal experience.
My personal experience of expat communities and the inherent cultural challenges is based on 16 years within the UK, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Brunei. I have lived outside of my home country for 19 years.
From experience within these communities I know that people in need of help are often afraid of, or uncomfortable with, being seen in a waiting room. They decide to go unsupported, spiralling into deep depression.
For this reason I offer online consultations in the privacy of your home.
Previous expat community clients