IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Mental Health

Woman looking out at city

In the news: Travel and mental health

This article is part of our regular travel and global health news round-up. Let’s face it: With all the excitement that goes into planning a trip, we sometimes neglect our mental health. And when we’re away from home, jetlagged, and sleep deprived – small obstacles can suddenly feel overwhelming. Before you go, it’s important to consider your mental wellbeing and be prepared – whether you have a pre-existing mental health condition or not. Just like physical health, taking care of your mental health is an important part of staying healthy. In honour of Mental Health Awareness month, this news round-up explores various topics related to mental health and travel, including the global inequity of accessible mental health care and ...

Country flags on wall

No one left behind: Supporting migrant health

When IAMAT was established in 1960, it was with a strong spirit of global community and a desire to live in a world where healthcare is accessible to all, no matter where or who you are. In honour of World Health Day, we take a look at migrant health, the barriers migrants face when accessing healthcare, and how universal coverage can make a difference. Migrant populations often arrive at their destination healthier than the native-born population, but they can face a range of health concerns that go unmet.  Universal healthcare – having access to quality healthcare regardless of your ability to pay – is an opportunity to ensure that everyone, including travellers and migrants, get the medical care they ...

Student in library

What to do and where to go? A doctor’s advice for students abroad

Imagine: You’re a student, excited to study abroad. You arrive in your new home away from home, ready for a semester of learning and exploring. New people, new places, new culture – but something isn’t right, you don’t feel well. Alone in a new place, you think, “my symptoms aren’t very serious, I don’t need a doctor”. But your condition is getting worse, and you don’t speak the language or know where to go. For a 20-year-old student from San Francisco, her stay in Rome took an unexpected turn last year when she began to experience symptoms of cough, tiredness, and difficulty swallowing. All the signs pointed towards a common cold, but she was actually suffering from a rare ...

Two people sitting on a rock next to a waterfall. Photo by Nandhu Kumar, Pexels.

4 things to know about travel and mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health – especially when you’re travelling! This week, we’re honouring Mental Health Week in Canada and Mental Health Month in the USA. We’ve compiled a list of four things everyone should know about travel and mental health. 1. Travel can be stressful. Travel can be an opportunity to relax and “get away” from the stressors of everyday life, but travelling may also introduce new sources of stress or drudge up old anxieties. Leaving home, difficulties during transit, unexpected expenses, and navigating a new place, culture, or language can all cause stress. Keep travel stress in check: Talk to your friends, family, or a health professional about your travel plans. Talking about ...

Travellers walking through an airport with suitcases. Photo by Negative Space, Pexels.

Travelling with anxiety: Coping on-the-go

Wherever you go, it’s important to prepare for the effects of travel on your mental well-being. In honour of Mental Health Month we have updated our Travel and Mental Health Series to provide you with advice for a healthy and safe trip. Topics include travel and depression, substance use, anxiety, psychosis and travel stress. Access the full series here. Travel is an exciting opportunity to explore new places, people, and activities. However, being away from familiar surroundings and dealing with change can be challenging for some travellers; feelings of anxiety can reoccur or emerge for the first time. Anxiety disorders are manageable and if you prepare in advance and are actively coping with your anxiety, you can travel safely ...

Harvey Enrile Unsplash culture shock

Coping with culture shock

What is culture shock? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines culture shock as “a feeling of confusion, doubt, or nervousness caused by being in a place (such as a foreign country) that is very different from what you are used to.” In travel, culture shock usually occurs when a person goes to a place with a culture very different from their own. It creates temporary psychological stress from being overwhelmed by the new culture and not knowing how to adapt or fit into the new environment. Culture shock can affect anyone but it’s most common in students, expatriates, or travellers on long-term trips. Coping with culture shock Common signs of culture shock include feeling insecure, inadequate, confused, isolated, angry, or irritable; homesickness; ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

News Release: Fit For Travel But What About Mental Health?

Niagara Falls, NY, January 25, 2011 – Travel is enjoyable, but there is no doubt that it can be stressful. Now travelers can find peace of mind with IAMAT’s new series on travel and mental health. IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers) just released its ‘Travel and Mental Health’ guides to promote better mental health during travel. The easy-to-use checklists offer tips for coping with travel stress, advice for travelers with pre-existing mental illness and traveling with medications. Also included are health tips for travelers without a prior history of mental illness. The guides are the first of their kind specifically aimed at travelers. International travel can put a strain on persons with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

My Peace of Mind… Travel and Mental Health

We are very pleased to announce the release of our series on travel and mental health, available in our eLibrary. What’s Inside? My Travel Mental Health Checklists are the the first comprehensive guides of their kind specifically intended for travellers. You’ll find: Tips for coping with travel stress Tips for travellers with no prior history of mental illness Tips for travelling with medications Tips for travellers with: – Depression and Bipolar Disorder – Substance Dependence – Anxiety Disorders – Psychotic Disorders Mental health is an under-recognized public health challenge and travellers often have difficulty accessing mental healthcare services abroad. Even if you don’t have a history of mental illness, travel stress, mood changes, anxiety and other mental health concerns ...