Moving to a new country is an exciting experience. But it can also be a daunting one. There are so many things to think about when you’re making the transition to living in a new place – finding somewhere to live, getting to know your way around, dealing with bureaucracy, having a healthy relationship, making new friends. It’s hard enough dealing with all of these things when you’re living in your own country and everything is familiar to you, but when you’re moving to a new country, it can be downright overwhelming. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you have a good support system in place when you’re moving to a new country. This support system can be made up of family, friend – or even professional help. Hopefully this short list of English speaking counsellors, mental health professionals and therapists in Saigon will be useful and help you avoid (or get out of) whatever funk you might find yourself in while living abroad.
- Why Mental Health Support is Important for Expats
- Why Choose Therapists in Saigon
- How to Choose a Therapist in Vietnam
- Recommended Therapists in Saigon and Vietnam
- Other Resources:
Why Mental Health Support is Important for Expats
There are a number of reasons why mental health support is particularly important for expats. You may not have family or friends close by who you would usually rely on for emotional support, and making new friends who would be close enough to be emotionally open with take time.
One practical limitation as well is that you don’t speak the language fluently, so it can be harder to access whatever local mental health services – and in Vietnam quality support is already hard to come by.
Even large multinationals are starting to recognize the importance of emotional wellbeing and the role it plays in productivity. HR departments are setting up additional items to their Employee Benefits schemes. Good employers are making sure that their expats have policies that include cover for mental health.
It’s easy to meet new people:Saigon Sports Clubs and Activities – with Men’s and Women’s Teams
Why Choose Therapists in Saigon
You’re likely to be experiencing a range of other challenges that come with moving to a new country – culture shock, adapting to a new climate, dealing with homesickness. All of these factors can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, and potentially even depression.
It’s important to find a mental health professional that you feel comfortable talking to about all of these things, and can personally relate to whatever unique challenges you’re facing. Though not absolutely necessary, it would be helpful if they themselves are also expats.
And lastly, while there are online options available, they may be based in different time zone, or might feel too “distant”. Some people will prefer to talking to their psychologist or counsellor face-to-face.
Looking for international hospitals in Saigon? This will helpInternational Hospitals and Clinics in Saigon
How to Choose a Therapist in Vietnam
There are a few things to consider when choosing a mental health professional. First, you’ll want to make sure that they’re qualified and have the necessary credentials. Check their website or give them a call to find out what kind of qualifications they have.
Do note that the term “life coach” can be used rather loosely; it’s not a regulated profession. On the surface, they might offer similar services, but being a kind ear vs actually doing responsible clinical therapy? Completely different ballgame. Please make sure to check certifications, and don’t go for something just because “it’s cheap”.
It’s also important to make sure that they have experience treating people with similar issues to what you’re dealing with. If you’re struggling with anxiety, for example, you’ll want to make sure that they have experience treating anxiety disorders – get recommendations and referrals.
Another thing to consider is whether or not they take your insurance. In Vietnam, most locally issued private health insurance plans will not cover mental health services, so you’ll likely be paying out of pocket. If you have a good international plan, you might have a separate benefit for mental health.
- Looking for good expat insurance? Let’s have a chat
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you feel comfortable with them as a person. This is someone that you’ll be sharing potentially sensitive information with, so it’s important that you feel like you can trust them – again, get recommendations and referrals.
Recommended Therapists in Saigon and Vietnam
Languages: English, Spanish
Qualifications: Masters in Clinical Psychology, Gottman Institute Certification Level III
Qualifications: MSc in Psychology, qualified British Mental Health Counsellor
Languages: English, German
Qualifications: BA and MSc in Psychology
Qualifications: British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)
Languages: English, French
Phone: (028) 38 27 23 66
Qualifications: PhD Applied Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology
International Center for Cognitive Development (ICCD)
Languages: English, Vietnamese
Scope: Student Counseling, Speech Therapy, Psychotherapy. Based in Vietnam, with a multinational team, the ICCD offers a range of mental health diagnostics, HR personnel screening, counseling, Speech language intervention, self-help resources, referrals to private care, workshops, and discussion groups to help locals and expats all over South East Asia gain the skills and insights they need to overcome adversity.
Qualifications: PhD Educational Psychology, MA Mental Health Counseling, BSc Psychology
Scope: For people based outside of Vietnam, with a focus on online counseling for Americans based in Asia.
Languages: English, Vietnamese
Scope: Docosan is an online booking platform for medical services in Vietnam. They have a full directory of various diagnostics, specialists, and other medical services. Prices are already published with full transparency.
Living overseas can be an amazing experience, but it’s also challenging in many ways. One thing that people often don’t think about is how living in a new country can affect their mental health.
It’s easy to feel isolated or overwhelmed, and sometimes the only solution seems to be ignoring your feelings and powering through. This can work for some, but it’s not really sustainable in the long run.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family – but also contact any of the mental health professionals or organizations listed above if you need help. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and there’s no shame in admitting that you need a little extra help sometimes.
*This is a living document – please feel free to send in additional recommendations for dependable therapists and counsellors based in Vietnam.
Stay healthy everyone!