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Here's a little help for anyone thinking of emigrating (and for anyone who already has)

A new website has been launched to offer advice to emigrants, tapping into the wisdom of 500 who already have.

Image: travelling via Shutterstock

A NEW GOVERNMENT-FUNDED website has been launched to support anyone planning to emigrate.

MindHowYouGo.ie, a joint initiative between Crosscare and the Department of Foreign Affairs, aims to make the experience of emigrating a little easier by tapping into advice from those who have already travelled away.

Irish Abroad Networking Officer with Crosscare Joe O’Brien said it offers ‘good, partial advice’ using the knowledge of 500 emigrants.

It could also help those who have already made the decision to leave Ireland, he said.

“For those already abroad we would recommend looking at the section on homesickness,” O’Brien said.

Homesickness could be dismissed as ‘just a natural reaction’ but we do urge emigrants to give special attention to their emotional and mental health while abroad and take on board some of the advice of their peers.

For many, it seems, moving away wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Of the people interviewed for the the new website, 71% said they experienced homesickness, and 64% said the entire experience of emigration was harder than they expected.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Naoise Kavanagh from ReachOut.com said emigration can be a whirlwind of emotions, which some find hard to deal with.

“You go away thinking the world is at your feet, but then start to feel the lost of your support network, she said, “It’s quite challenging, to give up everything and go away.”

“As much as possible, people need to stay in touch with those at home. Keep those lines of communication open. At the same time, try to get involved in activities you enjoy in order to make new friends. That will help develop new social circles.”

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A lot of traffic to ReachOut.com comes from abroad, Kavanagh noted, indicating that some of those who have moved away are still looking for help with mental health issues from home.

Kavanagh said the effect of emigration on those left behind in Ireland must not be forgotten, as their social circles will also dwindle.

You have to treat it in the same way, and almost reinvent yourself. Look for new things to get involved with, and it helps to try to treat wherever you living as a new place.

“People often forget that Ireland is great, there is a lot going on, and for free.”

Read: Not all emigrants are yearning for the green grass of home >

More: The Government has a big secret plan to lure Irish emigrants home >

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Nicky Ryan

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