Author Topic: New migrant - he seems very isolated  (Read 536 times)

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Offline douglas.m

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New migrant - he seems very isolated
« on: January 06, 2017, 01:56:17 PM »
Hi there,

I'm a construction site foreman and come into contact with lots of new migrants to the UK.  I occasionally see guys who appear somewhat 'lost' and are clearly struggling to assimilate. A few weeks back a young guy from Brooklyn New York started working with me. He seemed to me a little brash initially – especially through my perspective of English reserve, or unnecessary cautiousness, haha – but I could see he was just trying to establish his presence and could easily imagine myself acting similarly at his age and in his position.

As I got to know him and he relaxed a little, he revealed himself to be polite, intelligent, conscientious, and likeable. From a professional point of view, he could be trusted to work well; every time I walked the site I would catch him working, when its quite common to catch guys suddenly become animated when they're aware of my presence, ha ha. However, lately he's been off work complaining of feeling under the weather. Its unlike him to be unreliable and after a little more inquiry I discover he's actually very depressed. Its weird, but someone else could have told me similar things and I might not have considered it so serious, but there was look on his face and something about his demeanour that conveyed something worrying; instinctively, Im very concerned about his mindset and fear he's bordering on a trajectory of serious self-harm. In his last communication with me he said  - with chilling conviction - that without his job he is 'nothing'.

He doesn't have any friends or family here in London and seems quite isolated, which is obviously compounding his low mood. I've assured him he can talk to me anytime, but that I'm not qualified to assist him in any effective way so advised him to talk to a GP (he hasn't registered yet) to request a referral and/or possibly a prescription.  But what worries me most is his extreme social isolation, and I wonder if there's any ex-pat groups in London for people from the U.S?

Look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Doug
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 02:03:49 PM by douglas.m »

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 02:37:12 PM »
Do you know if he's even living legally in the UK?  Seems odd that he wouldn't have any friends or family here (as he wouldn't be here for work).  Could be a LOT more going on than you know.

Encourage him to get help, of course.  But if he's illegal, his options may be a bit more limited.

You can lead a horse to water...  Best of luck!

Just to add, if he doesn't want to be in the UK and doesn't have the funds to get home, the US Embassy can help.  They have a loan/repatriation program.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 02:39:41 PM by KFdancer »

Offline douglas.m

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 02:54:27 PM »
Do you know if he's even living legally in the UK?  Seems odd that he wouldn't have any friends or family here (as he wouldn't be here for work).  Could be a LOT more going on than you know.

Encourage him to get help, of course.  But if he's illegal, his options may be a bit more limited.

You can lead a horse to water...  Best of luck!

Just to add, if he doesn't want to be in the UK and doesn't have the funds to get home, the US Embassy can help.  They have a loan/repatriation program.

I did ask him about his status and he assured me he was here legally. You have to have a unique tax reference to work with us, but I don't know if these can be forged or acquired illegally. You've touched on something though as he claims he moved from Poland to the US as a 5 year old child, and was recently deported after a failed application for U.S. citizenship. He seemed reluctant to elaborate on this, but I felt this might be due to his mental condition. His mother and siblings still live in New York. My real concern, whatever his status, is his (very) obvious depression. Don't know why this is bugging me so much, just instinctive I guess; it was the look on his face - he looked 'haunted'.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 02:57:13 PM by douglas.m »

Offline sonofasailor

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 03:22:01 PM »
A GP is the obvious first port of call. The Samaritans are there also.

It is good that you are showing interest. I have read a lot that people on the edge often feel there is absolutely no one who cares....so you may be helping just by showing an interest. But yes professional help may be needed.

There may be someone on here who is in the area who can suggest something.

Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline jimbocz

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 03:37:41 PM »
Perhaps you could call the Samaritans yourself and they might have some concrete advice for you. 

You sound like a good friend and colleague, don't worry that your attempts to make sure he is all right are out of line. You are doing good.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 03:51:09 PM »
Wow.  Sounds like he could have a lot on his plate at the moment if he was deported.  I can't even imagine what that must be like.

You do sound really fantastic.  Let him know you are there if he needs anything.  Slipping him the number for Samaritans or another organisation is a great idea.  I think the best thing you can do is be a good boss, allow him the time out as needed, and let him put his head down and work when he returns.  I have a supportive boss (I'm unexpectedly pregnant and he is so supportive and positive).  Makes a huge difference!

Offline douglas.m

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 04:08:09 PM »
Thanks (all of you) for your replies, suggestions , and kind compliments.

I am trying to be a decent boss and accommodate his need for time off etc.  But I'm nothing special just simply responding the way I think most people would given how palpably he transmitted his despair; I think when a person is desperate they can speak to us - if not explicitly -  then maybe at some subconscious level. I encouraged him to register with his local health centre, but If anyone has any links to expat social events, expat bars or pubs I'd be really grateful. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 04:17:34 PM by douglas.m »

Offline Sirius

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 04:58:10 PM »
You've touched on something though as he claims he moved from Poland to the US as a 5 year old child, and was recently deported after a failed application for U.S. citizenship. He seemed reluctant to elaborate on this, but I felt this might be due to his mental condition. His mother and siblings still live in New York. My real concern, whatever his status, is his (very) obvious depression. Don't know why this is bugging me so much, just instinctive I guess; it was the look on his face - he looked 'haunted'.

Has his mother taken legal advice in the US for him? I assumed that the US also allowed human rights claims??? Unless he has committed crimes, human rights allows an adult that entered as a child and grew up in that country, to be allowed to remain.




Offline douglas.m

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 11:12:12 PM »
Has his mother taken legal advice in the US for him? I assumed that the US also allowed human rights claims??? Unless he has committed crimes, human rights allows an adult that entered as a child and grew up in that country, to be allowed to remain.

Thanks for your reply. He's quite reluctant to elaborate on why he was deported and I didn't like press him to. For now I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, but you're right to raise this and I'll admit the idea that he may not be giving me the whole picture has crossed my mind. I felt the best policy was to try sympathise, listen, and try to help, all tempered with a measure of appropriate detachment until I can discover more.

Offline Sirius

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Re: New migrant - he seems very isolated
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 11:51:43 AM »
I was thinking more of that he might not have been given the correct legal adivce in the US and was deported when he had a claim to being in the US?

i.e. in the UK, if somebody has reached 25 years old and spent half their life in the UK, they would have a claim to being on a route to citizenship regardless if they had been illegally in the UK.
Or
the UK have a seven year rules for children who has parents on a legal visa in the UK (which his mother seems to have in the US).