Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and can have a significant impact on your professional and personal life. World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 every year, serving as an important platform to raise global awareness about mental health issues. There is a lot of misconception around mental health, but according to the World Health Organization there are nearly 1 billion people worldwide experiencing some form of mental disorder so it’s important to remember that you’re never alone with whatever you’re going through.
Research has shown that more than half of healthcare workers report symptoms of burnout and many experience insomnia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health challenges (source: ‘Confronting Health Worker Burnout and Well-Being’). Taking care of yourself, including your mental health, will allow you to live a better quality of life, as well as enabling you to deliver the best possible care in your job.
As an international healthcare professional working in the U.S., you may face unique challenges that can affect your mental health. Moving country, settling into a new home, and finding your way in a new job can be stressful, especially when added to the general stress levels of working in a healthcare facility. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available in the United States to support you in maintaining your mental well-being.
One valuable resource for international healthcare professionals struggling with mental health is the Mental Health America (MHA) website. MHA is a leading non-profit organization that provides resources, information and support for individuals with mental health challenges. The website offers a variety of resources, including screening tools, educational materials, and articles on various mental health topics. MHA also offers online support communities and referrals to local mental health services.
Another useful website available to international healthcare professionals is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website. NAMI is a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy for individuals with mental illness. The website offers a wealth of resources, including information on specific mental illnesses, educational materials, and support groups. NAMI also offers a helpline that can be reached by phone or online chat.
Apps are a convenient and accessible tool for international healthcare professionals seeking mental health support. One app that may be helpful is Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation app that helps users reduce stress and improve their mental well-being. The app offers a range of guided meditations, breathing exercises, and other tools to support mindfulness and stress reduction.
Another helpful app is Happify, designed to help users develop positive mental habits and reduce negative thoughts and feelings. The app offers a range of activities, such as games and guided meditations, to help users build resilience and improve their mood.
Calm is also worth considering if you’re looking for guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The app also offers sleep sounds and stories to help users fall asleep more easily.
For international healthcare professionals seeking support for mental health concerns, helplines are a great way to connect with a trained professional. The Crisis Text Line provides support for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Users can text the crisis line at any time to connect with a trained crisis counselor who can provide help and support.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour helpline that provides confidential support for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings. This helpline offers support in English and Spanish and can be reached by phone or online chat.
It’s important to build a community of people you can lean on. Friendships and relationships with other people are essential to good mental health. You can read more about the importance of building a supportive community when you move to the U.S. here. Religious institutions can also provide a sense of community and connection, and may have resources available to help improve mental health. For inspiration on how to meet people when you move to the U.S., check out our list of social hobbies.
Healthcare professionals working with Conexus MedStaff in the U.S. can reach out to their local Engagement Manager for advice and support.
Are you a registered nurse or medical technologist looking to start a new career in the U.S.? Apply now to find out how we can help.