Change can be destabilizing.
Whether it’s starting a new job or moving to a new city, periods of adjustment directly affect our mental health.
That’s especially true for newly-arrived immigrants in the United States, who must overcome an even more daunting challenge: assimilating into an entirely foreign culture.
After all, it takes time to learn a new language (or its nuances), to adapt to new social norms, and to simply feel at home in a new society.
And while such change can be physically tiring (and mentally taxing), here’s some good news: as of 2020, over 46 million immigrants are currently living and thriving in America.
They’ve succeeded in making the transition, and so will you. It’s simply a matter of time.
Wherever you are in your journey, having sound mental health is vitally important to help you reach your desired destination.
To assist you along the way, we’ve compiled a list of mental health resources for immigrants to use while getting situated in America.
The State of Mental Health
What is “mental health,” exactly?
According to the World Health Organization, mental health constitutes “a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, to realize their abilities, to learn well and work well, and to contribute to their community.”
In recent years, mental health has become a mainstay of the cultural conversation.
The dialogue has centered on finding practical ways to neutralize stress, to mitigate depression, and to find joy in any and all of life’s circumstances.
Indeed, it’s no secret that many Americans are struggling to find a healthier way of living.
As of 2020, nearly 53 million Americans have a mental illness, which is formally defined as a “mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder [that can] range from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe.”
While such statistics can be rather unnerving at first glance, they are important to consider for two reasons: first, they demonstrate that mental health struggles are intrinsically human and universal. It’s a lifelong battle, not a momentary one.
Secondly, these statistics reveal that many Americans are both aware of their own struggles and are bravely seeking help.
Mental Health Resources for Immigrants
Growing mental health awareness has led to a proliferation of mental health resources for people in all walks of life.
This is great news for immigrants, who are perpetually faced with a wide array of mental health challenges, setbacks, and stressors.
While such obstacles vary, they frequently include:
- Overcoming societal differences
- Enduring homesickness and depression
- Minimizing language barriers
- Finding employment opportunities
- Withstanding acts of discrimination
There’s even more to it for undocumented migrants.
According to recent studies, undocumented immigrants experience a perpetual fear of deportation, a distrust of the legal system, and even an increased “suicidal ideation and risk due to the distress associated with cultural stress, social marginalization, and intergeneration conflicts.”
Psychological fears and stresses are a part of life — and they’re acutely felt by immigrants of all backgrounds.
The question is: how can you successfully manage those concerns and pursue your future with confidence?
Help starts with locating the right therapists and organizations.
While the following list is far from exhaustive, we hope it provides a glimpse into the breadth of immigrant mental health resources available to you and your family:
- Immigrants Rising: Designed specifically for undocumented young people, the immigrants Rising Mental Health Connector provides volunteer therapists 100% free of charge.
To learn more, click here to get in contact with their Mental Health Connector Team.
- Therapy for Latinx: As a directory of mental health service providers, Therapy for Latinx helps members of intersectional communities “get matched” with the right therapist.
You can search by city and speciality across all fifty states. Click here to learn more.
- The South Asian Mental Health Initiative & Network: A non-profit that addresses the mental health needs of the South Asian community, SAMHIN works to “decrease the stigma and shame associated with mental illness and offer resources for people who seek help.”
To find a counselor, click here to search via location, via speciality, or via language.
- The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association: As stated by their mission, the NAAPIMHA is dedicated to promoting the mental health and wellbeing of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.
They have service providers in all 50 states—you can view and contact them here.
- Inclusive Therapists: Focusing on marginalized identities, the Inclusive Therapists mission is clear: to make it simpler and safer for people to seek therapy.
To learn more about their service offerings, click here.
Ultimately, sound immigrant mental health requires a holistic approach.
While engaging therapy services, remember that the “little things” can make a difference.
These include seemingly-obvious habits like:
- Getting enough sleep, which is scientifically proven to stave off anxiety, enhance energy, and promote psychological peace.
- Eating healthy, which can curb your stress levels and even boost your mood.
- Exercising daily, where even a short walk can do wonders for your body, your immune system, and most importantly, your mind.
Finally, strengthening your and your family’s financial health is essential to help keep the money factor off your mind.
That’s one reason uLink makes it as easy as possible to send money home to loved ones.
With great exchange rates and fees starting as low as $0, you can support your family in a fast, secure, and affordable way.
Best of all, you can send money home in a matter of minutes — all in the uLink app.
Click below to learn more!