The big move
The number of people living abroad is predicted by HR experts to continue to rise over the next half decade at least, due to companies offering overseas assignments as they continue to invest in foreign nations, especially those whose economies are expanding.
Of course, people don’t just move abroad for a work placement. Other popular reasons for moving abroad include studying for a degree or postgraduate qualification or to retire to a warmer climate.
Moving overseas is if course an important decision as well as a big step to take, so it’s not a decision that people would ever take on a whim – there’s just too much involved! And a fair bit of research will always be necessary too, before moving on to the practical steps of preparing for the move.
Bearing all of this in mind, it’s important to acknowledge just how big a transition it can be, and be aware of looking after your wellbeing every step of the way.
So, in order to provide you with some background on wellbeing for expats, we’ve highlighted some of the most important points for wellbeing when moving abroad
Looking after mental health.
Going on holiday, moving home, and starting a new job are three events that always seem to make the top ten lists of things that cause people stress. And unfortunately, becoming an expatriate can be a bit like experiencing all three at once.
And the various surveys and studies seem to bear this out, with two of the most recent both indicating that expats can be at higher risk of a range of mental health problems, including depression.
If the company you work for has an employee assistance programme in place, this can be a good place to request assistance and support. This type of programme generally offers counselling for a number of things the employees may be affected by such as bereavement, divorce and so on.
There are also firms that offer counselling services specifically for expats, so it’s worth looking at the services offered and seeking out the contact details of a reputable and established counselling organisation prior to leaving since even if you don’t require it you know where it is.
On settling in
Sometimes – once the hard work of transitioning in to the new employment post and social surroundings is done, it’s sometimes the case that people can feel a bit disconnected and flat. It’s almost as if, after all the activity and upheaval, there’s a period of new re-adjustment to the fact that the biggest challenges have been met. According to experts, this is in most cases just a temporary and passing thing. But of course if it continues longer than a few weeks, it’s important to seek some professional advice.
This is (of course) an important one – since if you’re going to all the effort of moving overseas, then you’ll also want the peace of mind in knowing that if you fall ill, you’ll have the necessary treatment in the quality of surroundings you were used to at home. State healthcare systems can be very different in terms of quality from one country to another, so international medical cover means making sure that you’ll get the right care promptly and when you need it.
Jen Jones blogs on expat topics. Please visit AXA PPP International for info on expat health insurance