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Expat women 'often depressed'

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11:10 CEST+02:00

Depression among expat women in Switzerland is a growing problem, psychologists say, with women accompanying working husbans particularly vulnerable.

The Zurich Commissioner for Integration, Julia Morais, has taken steps to respond to the large number of calls from psychologists, informing her of the growing phenomenon of depression among expat women, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

Many expat women have come as “trailing spouses”, following their husbands who have secured jobs in Switzerland. Without friends and family, or any knowledge of the local language, it is increasingly common for the “Expat Blues” to set in.

Julia Morais has now decided to stage an event on 31st May 2012 to examine the issues affecting these women.

“We want to stop these women from feeling unhappy and from urging their husbands to go home,” she said.

About 90 percent of counsellor Martina Famos’s patients are expat women. It is common for them to feel depressed when faced with the strange Swiss culture with no friends or family at their sides, she said. After the culture shock, loneliness follows.

“It depends how well prepared the woman is, what personal goals she has, and how strong the marriage is,” Famos said.

She recommends all expats to take a language course to help stop them from feeling isolated and overwhelmed.

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