Mental Health Resources

Moving abroad can be exhilarating, exciting, and truly one of the best experiences in your life. But let’s not kid ourselves, there are times when it can be a difficult and overwhelming process. Each situation is unique and there are many factors that can determine whether or not you enjoy your new life abroad.

Despite speaking the language and having plenty of friends here, there have been times when I have been tempted to rip my own hair out. Just because you speak the language doesn’t mean you automatically understand the jokes, the food, or the culture. Add a partner, spouse, or children into the mix and you might find yourself wondering if you made the right decision to leave the comfortable cocoon of your home country.

A study in the March-April 1999 edition of the Harvard Business Review found that 25% of expat employees leave their organizations within their first year of living abroad. Often, they find the move abroad to be too much for their family. Before you pack up and go home, consider that there are resources available for you and your loved ones. If you reach out for help, consider the following:

1. Do you want the therapist to be local? There are plenty of sites that offer therapy sessions via Skype as well as in person.
2. Do you have a language preference? If so, this may be a key factor to getting the guidance you need.
3. What type of help do you need? Are you seeking help for yourself, your children, or you and your partner? Are you dealing with addiction, anxiety, depression, etc?
4. Do you have private insurance? If so, check with your insurance company to see if they will cover some of the cost.

Here are some sites that can assist you in finding the help you need:

Your Tango– If you are crunched for time, perhaps Skype may be the best option for you. This is a great starting point to help you search for qualified therapists who can provide their services via Skype.
Need a Therapist here in Spain?– A list of psychotherapists throughout Spain.
English Speaking Therapists – This is a great site for those who are looking for English speaking therapists. Contact information and links to individual websites are listed.
Centro Hispano-Columbiano – This is a great local non-profit, which despite the name caters to anyone in the Madrid community. They offer free group and individual therapy sessions, as well as many helpful workshops.