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Expat Exchange - Understanding Mental Health in Turkey
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Istanbul, Turkey


Understanding Mental Health in Turkey

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Expatriates often encounter all kinds of stress while residing overseas. Understanding the workings of mental healthcare services in Turkey is essential.

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 Turkey, understanding the local mental health services and cultural attitudes towards mental health is crucial for a smooth transition and maintaining well-being.

Finding a Mental Health Care Provider in Turkey

Finding an English-speaking mental health care provider in Turkey is possible, especially in larger cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, where there is a higher likelihood of encountering professionals who have trained abroad or cater to the expat community. However, in smaller towns or rural areas, it may be more challenging to find English-speaking providers. Expats and digital nomads often rely on recommendations from local expat communities, online forums, or international health insurance networks to locate suitable mental health professionals.

Mental Health Care Services in Turkey

The mental health care services in Turkey may differ from what expats from English-speaking countries are accustomed to. While Turkey has been working to improve its mental health care system, the availability and approach to services can vary widely. Public hospitals and clinics may offer mental health services, but private practice is where one might find more similarity to Western standards of care, albeit often at a higher cost. It's important to research and understand the specific services offered by a provider before commencing treatment.

Standard of Care for Mood Disorders in Turkey

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recognized and practiced in Turkey, but it may not be as prevalent as in some Western countries. There is a growing awareness and acceptance of CBT and other evidence-based therapies among Turkish mental health professionals. However, traditional and community-based approaches still exist, and some practitioners may integrate different methods. It's advisable to directly inquire about a provider's therapeutic approach and experience with mood disorders before beginning therapy.

Online Mental Health Services for Expats and Nomads

Online mental health services are becoming increasingly popular among expats and digital nomads in Turkey, offering convenience and access to a wider range of English-speaking professionals. While internet connectivity in urban areas is generally reliable, there may be technological barriers in more remote locations. Additionally, expats should ensure that the online services they choose comply with privacy laws and regulations both in Turkey and their home country.

Other Considerations for Mental Health Care in Turkey

Expats and nomads should be aware of cultural attitudes towards mental health in Turkey, which can be more conservative and stigmatized than in many Western countries. This may affect the openness with which people discuss mental health issues and seek help. It's also important to consider the legal and regulatory framework surrounding mental health care in Turkey, as it may impact access to certain medications or treatments. Lastly, having a strong support network and being connected with the expat community can provide additional emotional support and valuable information about navigating the mental health care system in Turkey.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Istanbul, Turkey

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William Russell
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