If you are experiencing difficulties with mental health issues abroad, your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate may be able to offer assistance.
- listen to you and help you look at your options
- help you contact friends and family members if you want to
- visit you in hospital or prison in line with our usual procedures
- raise any concerns about your treatment or welfare with the responsible authority (such as a prison or hospital)
- help overseas medical staff contact medical staff in the UK who may be able to provide advice on your medical history
- give information about local medication suppliers
- be available, as appropriate, to offer you assistance if you choose to remain overseas
- liaise with your travel rep or travel insurance company, if you want us to
- give advice on mental health issues
- buy or supply medication
- withhold or remove a passport
- stop you from travelling abroad
- require you to return to the UK
- pay for you to return to the UK
- pay for food, accommodation or medical bills
- get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people
You should bear in mind that medical treatment is rarely free overseas and in many countries is very expensive. British Embassies cannot pay medical bills for you.
Before travelling, you should consider:
If you take prescribed medication, make sure you have a sufficient supply
In some countries, your prescription medication might be banned, unavailable or available under a different name.
Get adequate travel insurance
Insurance may cover costs of local medical treatment and possibly repatriation. However, it often does not cover pre-existing conditions, especially previous mental health diagnoses, and may exclude conditions related to drug/ alcohol abuse. See our travel insurance advice.
Take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Within the European Economic Area (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland, the European Health Insurance Card entitles you to reduced-cost or free medical treatment which becomes necessary during an overseas trip, even for a chronic disease or pre-existing illness.
You can find more information, including contacts for mental health organisations in our leaflet No health without mental health.