Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing

For internationals, living in the Amsterdam Area can be a wonderful experience – there’s so much to do, see and enjoy. But it’s also important to remember that life here can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to make new friends, get your career on track and adjust to a different culture. 

Coping with change, and dealing with life’s ups and downs, can impact your mental health. Feeling depressed or stressed is normal, especially when you’re dealing with the added difficulties brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It’s a lot for anyone to handle, and there’s nothing wrong with needing help and support. 

Accessing professional help when you need it

The Netherlands has an excellent healthcare system, including mental healthcare, and treatment is available in English. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed or lonely, don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance. Contact your GP, or if you have one, a company doctor. You can also get in touch with welfare workers, who are usually based at community and health centres. 

A GP will typically have you come for an appointment where you can discuss your concerns in a safe, private setting. If they feel as though you need further assistance, they will refer you to a psychiatrist or another professional who is trained to help. Dutch health insurance will cover all – or part of – the cost of primary and secondary mental healthcare, depending on your insurer and policy. 

In the event of an emergency – experienced by you or someone else – contact your GP (family doctor) immediately and they will call the local crisis intervention team, which is available 24/7.

The support you need to thrive at home and on the job

Finding a new job and getting your career moving forward can be hard for internationals, and you may feel sad or frustrated as you try to get ahead. Personal coaching can help you move past mental roadblocks and develop a plan for work and life. 

For example, IN Amsterdam partner In2Motivation provides targeted coaching sessions that help you understand what you want and how to get it. Their services focus on different aspects of life, including relationships, family life and careers, so you can find the guidance you need to succeed at home and on the job.

Having a baby in the Netherlands

Welcoming a baby to your family can be exciting, but you might experience anxiety when you think about giving birth in a new country. To put your mind at ease, learn about being pregnant and having a child in the Netherlands to get an idea of what to expect. Also, consider joining a group like Amsterdam Mamas to connect with other parents and learn about their experiences. 

If you experience postpartum depression after your little one arrives, don’t hesitate to get help. Contact your family doctor and let them know what you’re going through – they will make sure you get the support you need. 

Make your mental health a priority

Depression, anxiety and stress can be a normal part of life. Remember that help is always available if you experience these feelings – you are not alone. Talk to a professional and start working on a plan to help you feel better. 

IN Amsterdam partners

For a full list of IN Amsterdam's partners, including healthcare providers, or for more information on the Partnership Programme, please click here.