UKIC / International Health, Safety & Security / Prep / Traveler Health / Mental Health Abroad

Mental Health Abroad

Pre-Departure Preparation

Preparing to manage your mental health overseas is just as important as preparing to manage your physical health. A wide range of factors that travelers encounter abroad can affect their mental wellbeing. Being in an unfamiliar environment away from support networks, experiencing cultural adjustment, and even jet lag and changes in sleep patterns can aggravate existing symptoms, or trigger new ones. 

The International Center recommends that students preparing to study abroad have an open and honest conversation about their mental health concerns with a trusted member of the University community before they depart, to be as well-prepared as possible.  

It is also important for all international travelers to discuss upcoming trips with their current mental healthcare provider, in order to plan for care overseas. Remember that U.S.-based providers may not be able to have counseling sessions with you while you are overseas because of licensing restrictions. Planning your care in advance is key. 

UK's international travel medical insurance plan covers some mental health counseling while you are abroad. For more information on the plan, click here, and contact AXA Assistance with questions about locating a counselor. 

Remember: Always have a conversation with your mental healthcare provider about your plans to travel internationally so that you can prepare in advance!

UK Campus Resources

UK students are encouraged to consider visiting the UK Counseling Center. Appointments with the Counseling Center are confidential, and information on your treatment will not be shared with the UK International Center. 

UK faculty and regular staff are eligible to attend counseling sessions through Work + Life Connections Counseling

Prescription Medication Information

Some medications used to treat mental health conditions may be more tightly regulated, require additional documentation, or may even be illegal in other countries. If you have any questions about the legality of your medication, check with AXA Assistance before your departure. More information about this process can be found here

If you take medication with you, be sure to take enough to last the entire time, with a bit extra in case of travel delays. Maintain your usual dosage pattern while you are abroad, and consult with your physician about any possible dosage adjustments.