Mind Your Mental Health As You Adjust To Irish Life | Jigsaw.ie

Mind your mental health as you adjust to Irish life

Mind your mental health as you adjust to Irish life

Monday, 04 July 2022

People leave their home countries for multiple reasons to live somewhere else. They may be forced to leave family members, homes, pets, jobs, careers, and their communities.

For some people, this is to seek a better life for themselves and their families. For others, the decision is forced due to war, civil unrest or poverty. The decision to move can be a very difficult one to make and sometimes has to be made very quickly.

As a parent or guardian, this can lead to carrying a lot of worry for your young person.

Your own mental health can be affected by moving somewhere else. While the reasons for moving differ, most people take time to settle into their new country.

view of the sea with long grass in fore view
2 adults and 2 children in sunset silhouette

Communication

Many parents/guardians may find they end up relying on their young person to interpret for them.

Identity and Communication

Some people experience a loss of status and a change in identity. This can be challenging and difficult to deal with.

You may feel that you do not have as much control and agency over your own life and your young person’s life.

Young people often adapt to changes more quickly than parents or guardians. As a result, you may fear that you are not able to influence your young person as much as you could before.

You also may have feelings of loss of your home culture and sadness that your child won’t grow up in the same culture. Your country may be changing in ways that are permanent and this can bring up feelings of loss too.

It can be hard watching your young person develop within a new culture. As a parent or guardian, you may not know how to respond to this new culture and you may not agree with some of the differences.

Difficulties with communication

You may struggle with learning the language. Many parents/guardians may find they end up relying on their young person to interpret for them. This can feel like a reversal of parental and child roles.

Jobs may be more difficult to come by due to differences in language, qualifications, and culture. You may struggle to provide for your family in the way that you hoped to.

 

Support

Being away from your home country might mean that the same family and community supports are not available.

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Loss of support

Being away from your home country might mean that the same family and community supports are not available. This can add stress and make life more difficult to organise.

Depending on your experiences in your country of origin, you may struggle to trust government bodies or other official entities.

Racism and discrimination

Parents/guardians may also experience racism and discrimination. This is painful to experience and to watch your family experience.

It can also be the case that different migrant groups are treated differently. You may be left wondering why someone else’s experience is valued over yours. Understandably, this could make you feel angry, resentful and hurt.

various craft materials

Self-care

Take time to do things you enjoy.

How to manage your own mental health as a parent

Sometimes parents/guardians can put their own mental health aside as they try to help their young person adjust to a new way of life.

It’s important to remember that your mental health also affects your child’s well-being.

You are the most important person in helping them adjust to this new country. Your young person will look to you as a role model on how to survive.

It is important to make your own mental health a priority. Here are some things that may help you:

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