Three-quarters of expats say coronavirus impacted their mental health

Three-quarters of expats say coronavirus impacted their mental health

The coronavirus has had far-reaching consequences for people and businesses around the world, and expats living in the Netherlands have also been hit hard by the pandemic, with a recent survey revealing that 74 percent say the virus is impacting their mental health, and 30 percent say their job could be under threat. 

The emotional impact of coronavirus on expats in the Netherlands

A new survey carried out at the end of 2020 for the International Community Advisory Platform (ICAP) asked 2.350 people from 104 different countries all living in the Netherlands. The survey was designed to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the international community and found that the mental and emotional strain on internationals in the Netherlands was the most pressing issue. 

Those who have only recently moved to the country have found it particularly difficult to settle in their new home and integrate into the community: “Coronavirus has drastically slowed down our integration into Dutch society as it is more difficult to socialise, practice Dutch and build up our network outside the expat community,” said one international worker in The Hague.

This loneliness and isolation is compounded by the obvious difficulties expats face when it comes to international travel and visiting family and friends. Over a quarter of survey respondents said they were worried about loved ones back in their home country. 

Many internationals worried about their job and household income

The majority of survey respondents acknowledged that the impact the pandemic had had on their lives had been significant, with 65 percent worried about the impact of coronavirus on their household income and 30 percent worried about losing their job. 9 percent of respondents said they had already lost work as a result of the pandemic.

However, in spite of the difficulties, very few expats appear to be leaving the Netherlands: less than a quarter of respondents said they’d considered leaving the country, and 60 percent said they didn’t know of any international workers who had left the Netherlands as a result of the virus.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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