Expat mental health: how can businesses help their employees?

Taking care of the mental health of expat employees should be a priority for businesses. Mental health issues impact an employee’s general well-being, affect their performance at work and can impact the overall success of a company.

More and more expats are suffering from mental health issues. For many, the challenges of relocating can become very overwhelming and lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

The best way to help your employees is with preemptive action: prepare them for the move, limit the stress of relocating and make sure they have the support they need whenever they need it. Here’s a few preemptive action tips.

Trial periods

Giving your employees the chance to complete a short-trial period in their new country – letting them see their new office, meet their new colleagues and explore their new neighbourhood – can reduce the shock they experience when they move out full-time. Even a simple 2 or 3 day pre-assignment visit can help.  

Mentor programmes

Matching your employee with someone who has previously been posted to the country can help them prepare for the move. They can ask their mentor questions and gain first-hand insight: from something as simple as where to get a taxi at the airport to what is the working environment like, this information can be invaluable to someone about to relocate.

Family relocation packages

Helping your employee’s family move and settle with them is really important. Practical support such as assistance to find a new home, the best school for their children, employment for an accompanying spouse/partner and help to sort out family visas can really reduce the stress of relocating.

Employee Assistance Programmes

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPS) can help to stop issues escalating if an employee is starting to struggle. These programs offer 24-hour access to counsellors by phone. The counsellors are trained to support employees with a wide range of issues: from work-related stress and financial worries to substance abuse and emotional problems. They can also refer employees to local professionals if they feel it is necessary.

A good way for expat employees to mentally prepare for their move is to research the country. Encourage employees to check out Just Landed’s country guides: here they will be able to find all the information they need.