Language is considered the most important part of learning and adjusting to a new culture. It is the way by which people communicate with one another with ease, build relationships, and create a sense of community. A barrier occurs when people fail to understand the common grounds of understanding or are unable to speak the common language.
With the increase in globalization, comes the changes in migration as well. People all over the world travel to unknown countries and cities to expand their horizons and lifestyle. Recent records reveal that Indians are now the second-largest migrant group in Australia. Those who go there with hopes and dreams, have to equally adjust with having uncomfortable feelings of being considered second- or third-class citizens.
The most vital aspect in this adjustment and making a name in an unfamiliar place is communication which naturally comes from speaking their native language. Having to live in a new country is quite exhausting especially when it comes to new experiences and unknown faces which can take a toll on migrants and their ability to mingle well. Getting the accent, pronunciation, and the meaning with time can sometimes block access to normalize their presence and gives them more of an outsider feeling. For many people living outside the comfort of the home becomes a series of sacrifices, compromises, and adjustments, many of them touching people’s deepest feelings and questioning their confidence. The personal and social skills that made them distinctive and inclusive may no longer be effective. And it is usually hard for them to understand those that are effective in the new culture and harder still to adapt them to get along with the culture shock. Lack of English is seen as one of the barriers for migrants gaining access to healthcare and other services.
Prolonged struggles with being homesick can lead to these migrants having mental health problems as well. Because of the language barrier, there will be less communication and heartfelt treatment from the outside world leading to more self-isolation and low self-esteem. Chances of having depression and other disorders are higher immigrant population because they don’t have the liberty of time or of other resources to seek help from a mental health professional. Psychological distress can impair functional disability but a very small proportion seeks mental health.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Shubhangi Saini is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.