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CONTACT US

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
(209) 946-2315 x2
Cowell Wellness Center
1041 Brookside Road
Stockton, CA 95211

CONTACT US

University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, California 95211
209.946.2011

Mental Health Abroad

Tips for Travelers with Mental Health Concerns

  • Recognize that some of what you may experience is normal for everyone (aka culture shock)
  • Learn the vocabulary associated with your condition before you leave the U.S.
  • Bring a translated copy of any needed medical records and/or release forms
  • Connect with international mental health groups and/or find someone you can trust to disclose your condition to and teach them about the support you need
  • Plan for contingencies
  • Remember what strategies work for you at home and use them while abroad
  • Talk to your doctor before leaving to make plans for handling your medication needs

Questions To Consider If You Take Medication

  1. Are there pharmacies near where I will be living?
  2. How do I find out what overseas equivalent of medications are available? How can I get medication from home if the local medication isn't effective or if my usual medication needs to be changed or is lost?
  3. What if I feel my condition has improved while I'm abroad, and I stop taking medication that I'm typically on? What effects could this have? Who will I consult for medical advice about discontinuing or decreasing my medication?
  4. How soon do I need to consult with my clinical specialist about availability of medications abroad and the possibility of takign enough medication abroad with me to cover my entire time abroad?
  5. What happens if I am taking medications that are still under strict patent in the U.S. or may not be legal overseas?
  6. If I can't find the same medications, how much time will my doctor need to change the prescription and make sure my condition is stable before traveling abroad?
  7. Are there any medications that I will need to take while abroad (e.g., anti-malarial medication) that could interfere with my current medication? If so, what is the best way to manage this?
  8. How do I adjust my medication regimen when crossing time zones?

Links to External Mental Health Resources for Use When Traveling Abroad


The National Empowerment Center

National Empowerment Center is an organization offering information and referral to people who have been diagnosed with mental illness. They can assist with information on self-help techniques and advocacy information. They are also a resource for information on accommodating people with mental health-related disabilities in international exchange.


World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) 

The exclusive mission of WAPR is to improve the quality of life of individuals and families throughout the world affected by disabling mental illnesses. They have 86 chapters worldwide who are representatives of consumers, families, and voluntary organizations.


World Federation for Mental Health

World Federatoin for Mental Health has members and contacts in 112 countries and has responded to the international mental health crisis as a worldwide grassroots advocacy and public education organization. 


Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund works to advance the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. They can provide technical assistance and resources regarding accommodation for students with mental health-related disabilities.


Disability Rights International (DRI)

DRI enforces the rights of people with disabilities (including mental health disabilities) by working with human rights advocates in the Eastern European, the Middle East, and South American regions. Depending on the country, DRI may have contacts of peer or support groups and information on cultural views of mental health-related disabilities abroad.


Mind Freedom International

Mind Freedom International is an international coalition of groups that advocate for human rights in psychiatry, and includes current and former mental health consumers. They can provide information on support and advocacy groups abroad in several countries.