The flipside of enjoying everything this incredible city has to offer is that it can also be a stressful place to live. Clinical psychologist DR QURATULAIN ZAIDI of Mind N Life maintains that looking after your family’s wellbeing is key.
“When those of us lacking a good support network encounter challenges, managing low moods can suddenly become much harder,” says Dr Zaidi. “This is a common issue among expats of all ages, who may feel isolated from friends and family back home.”
Mental health concerns are more common than you might think; around 25 percent of us experience issues at some point, according to Dr Zaidi. “Issues including self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse and depressive episodes can occur in children and teens, which is obviously of great concern to parents. Unfortunately, there is still stigma attached to mental illness, and it is often incorrectly perceived as weakness.”
8 steps to enhance family wellbeing
- Prioritise physical and emotional balance
- Develop a support network
- Model positive behaviour
- Approach new experiences with an open mind
- Allow children to express their feelings – both positive and negative
- Encourage open communication
- Live in the present
- Seek professional help when required
The Mind N Life team looks after the needs of expat families – from young kids to teens, and couples to stressed-out executives – by working inclusively and collaboratively. “Our multimodal approach involves working with other professionals where there is a need, to help support the family as required. We do educational assessments for learning difficulties too, where we work in direct collaboration with schools and parents, unlike so many practices in Hong Kong,” says Dr Zaidi.
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.