NHS Doctors: Managing your mental health when relocating to the UK

mental health

Relocating to a new city can be stressful at times, however, it’s also an incredibly exciting opportunity. At Remedium, we’ve supported thousands of doctors through the relocation process, so we’re experts in supporting you to overcome some of the practical and emotional challenges that can arise. In this blog, we outline ways to help maintain your mental health when relocating to the UK as an international doctor.

Lean on friends and family for support

Your friends, family and loved ones are there to support you no matter what. Talk to them and tell them how you feel. Many doctors relocate to the UK on their own, especially to begin with. This can be a very daunting experience.  Time zones may differ and as a doctor, you will be busy in your new role. Set a daily/weekly/monthly time to Facetime, depending on what suits you. Catch-up calls are important and ensure you receive the love and support you need throughout your relocation process.

Celebrate your achievements as a doctor

Whether you’re a newly qualified doctor or you’ve been working in the industry for a while, gaining a job in the NHS is an amazing achievement. For many, this is a lifetime goal as the NHS is considered to be one of the most prestigious healthcare systems in the world. Goodbyes are hard, and you’re going to miss everyone but know that you will visit home soon. You may want to consider arranging a leaving party and celebrate your achievements with your loved ones.

Make friends in your new home-town

Even if you’re an introverted person, being isolated all the time isn’t good for your mental health. If you don’t know many people in the UK, there are plenty of ways to meet people. Within your new hospital, there will be lots of doctors in the same position as you. Reach out to other international healthcare staff in your new place of work – they might be feeling lonely too.

The UK is an incredibly diverse country. If you celebrate certain festivals at home, such as Diwali, Eid, Passover, Easter – whatever the occasion, find people who also celebrate them by joining your local place of worship. Our Red Carpet digital relocation support platform can help you find a suitable place of worship close to your new home. If you would prefer to attend a non-religious event Eventbrite is also a great website to find local events.

At Remedium we host plenty of networking events throughout the year. Whether you’re visiting London to take a postgraduate qualification or we have placed you in a role and you have an official start date, get in touch. We would love to meet you in person and will be happy to introduce you to other doctors who are new to the area and working in the same/nearby NHS trusts.

Get some sleep!

Life in the NHS can involve long hours and shift work. As an international doctor relocating to the UK, you’ll want to get into a healthy sleep pattern as soon as possible to help manage this. You can check out The Sleepyhead Clinic blog about shift work which is run by Expert Sleep Physiologist Stephanie Romiszewski. She says, “shift work almost always affects how well we sleep, but it can be the way we try to cope that actually perpetuates the sleep problems.”

NHS doctors mental health 

Working as a doctor in a hospital comes with many inherent pressures and uncertainties. If you need help, our doors are always open. Remedium set up our ‘Healing our Healers’ initiative to champion and support the mental wellbeing of the NHS clinical workforce.

You can take a look at our Healing our Healers resources page on our website, or take a look at our guest blog by Dr. Caroline Walker on how to manage stress and anxiety as a hospital doctor.

You can also listen to ‘The Joyful Doctor’ podcast which is hosted by Dr. Caroline Walker or ‘You Are Not a Frog’ hosted by Dr. Rachel Morris. Within these podcasts, they discuss practical tips for doctors and healthcare professionals on how to manage your mental health, particularly during the pandemic.

However, if you’re really struggling, it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified mental health professional.

Don’t worry about the admin

Admin can be overwhelming and there can be a lot of tasks involved when you’re relocating to a new city. Once you secure a job placement within an NHS hospital you will be assigned a Remedium onboarding executive who will help you every step of the process, at absolutely no cost. In addition to sourcing suitable accommodation, your onboarding executive will support you with navigating the COS and visa process, finding suitable childcare for your children, making connections in your new local community, and much more!

If you’re looking for career advice or a new role, please register your details and upload your CV and one of our relocation experts will be in touch.

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