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Expat Exchange - Understanding Mental Health in Cambodia
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Siem Reap, Cambodia


Understanding Mental Health in Cambodia

By Betsy Burlingame

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Summary: Expats face a lot of stressors living abroad. It's important to know how mental healthcare services work in Cambodia should you need them.

Moving to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its own set of challenges, including taking care of your mental health. For expats and digital nomads in Cambodia, understanding the available mental health services and the cultural attitudes towards mental health is crucial for a smooth transition and maintaining well-being.

Finding a Mental Health Care Provider in Cambodia

Finding an English-speaking mental health care provider in Cambodia can be challenging but not impossible. The major cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a more significant number of clinics and hospitals that cater to expatriates and tourists, where you are more likely to find English-speaking professionals. However, outside these areas, the availability of English-speaking providers may be limited.

Mental Health Care Services Standards

The mental health care services in Cambodia may not be on par with what one might expect in Western countries. The country is still developing its mental health infrastructure, and resources may be more limited than in the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. Expats should be prepared for differences in facilities, approaches, and availability of certain medications or therapies.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Cambodia

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common treatment for anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders worldwide, but it is not necessarily the standard of care in Cambodia. Mental health care practices in the country may incorporate a mix of Western and traditional methods, and the availability of CBT specifically may vary depending on the provider and their training.

Online Mental Health Services for Expats and Nomads

Many expats and digital nomads in Cambodia favor using online services for mental health care due to the limited availability of in-person English-speaking providers. While online services can be a convenient alternative, technological barriers such as inconsistent internet access can impede the delivery of these services. Additionally, time zone differences can make scheduling sessions with providers from one's home country challenging.

Other Considerations for Mental Health Care in Cambodia

Expats and nomads might not consider the cultural attitudes towards mental health in Cambodia, which can be quite different from Western perspectives. Mental health issues may carry a stigma, and there is often a lack of understanding and support from the local community. It's important for expats to seek out supportive networks, whether through expat communities or online forums, to navigate these challenges. Additionally, the legal and ethical frameworks governing mental health services may differ from those in Western countries, so it's crucial to be informed about your rights and the standards of care in Cambodia.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

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