5 Steps to Find Mental Health Support While Studying Abroad
Adjusting to a new environment, culture, and academic system can strain your mental health. It's not like it's uncommon to feel homesick, anxious, or stressed. While studying abroad is an exciting and positive experience, it's also challenging. But one of the most important parts of the journey is knowing you're not alone. Students of all ages suffer from mental health issues in degrees and everyone and every case deserves attention and treatment for a seamless and ultimate study abroad experience.
The best part is that there are many resources and support available to help students navigate these challenges. We will share with you 5 important steps to find mental support while studying abroad.
Here Are the Best Steps to Find Mental Health Support:
1. Research the Mental Health Services Offered by Your Host Institution
Before you leave for your study abroad program, take some time to research the mental health services offered by your host institution. Many universities and colleges have counselling services that provide free or low-cost counselling sessions to students. These services may include individual counselling, group therapy, and workshops on stress management, anxiety, and depression. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the services offered, the hours of operation, and the contact information of the counselling centre. Knowing where to go for help can make a big difference in your mental health journey.
2. Connect with Other Students and Support Groups
Doing this can help you feel less alone and provide you with a support system. Look for clubs, organizations, or activities that interest you and attend their events. Joining a student group can help you make friends and connect with other students who share similar interests and experiences. Additionally, consider joining a support group specifically for international students. These groups can provide a safe space to share your experiences, concerns, and challenges and get support from others who understand what you are going through.
3. Stay in Touch with Your Support System Back Home
Make sure to stay in touch with your family, friends, and mental health professionals, such as therapists or psychiatrists, through phone calls, texts, or video chats. Talking to your loved ones can help you feel grounded and supported, and they can also provide you with perspective and advice. Additionally, if you are taking medication for a mental health condition, make sure to bring enough medication with you and have a plan to refill your prescription while abroad.
4. Take Care of Your Physical Health
Your mental health and physical health are closely linked, and taking care of your body can help you manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Make sure to prioritize your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and engaging in regular exercise. Additionally, avoid using drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, as they can worsen your mental health and lead to addiction.
5. Be Kind to Yourself and Seek Help When Needed
Don't be harsh on yourself; take breaks when you need them, prioritize activities that make you feel good, and give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them. If you are struggling with your mental health and feel that you need additional support, don't hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional or your host institution's counselling centre. Asking for help is a sign of strength, and getting the support you need can help you thrive academically, socially, and emotionally while studying abroad.
This life-changing and rewarding experience doesn't need to be as challenging. Stay aware and mindful of yourself and your well-being to always be on top of things and don't let them accumulate. Your mental health can be the difference between light and dark.
What are you waiting for? Start now.