Since Russia’s invasion, Ukrainians have continued to see their loved ones killed, injured and traumatized, their families separated, and their homes, schools and hospitals attacked.
Death, destruction and devastation haunt the country’s streets, and the war shows no signs of abating. Some 6.6 million people are internally displaced. 5,587 civilians, including 358 children, have been killed, and over 7,890 civilians, including 693 children, have been injured – although the true numbers are expected to far exceed these.
Russia’s fatal attack on Ukraine’s Independence Day is yet another example of the ongoing and uninterrupted trauma inflicted upon the people of Ukraine. (OCHA, Dattalion)
On the heels of the story shared last week about the Open-Door project, the Centre of Psychological Counselling and Trauma Therapy in Kyiv, this week’s update will discuss another mental health program supported by Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
“Helping hand for Ukraine: War Trauma Therapy for Displaced Children” is a humanitarian project of HOPE worldwide Canada in Ukraine that provides psychological support to internally displaced children affected by the war.
This project has been operating in Ukraine since 2015, and from its inception, the program has successfully trained 636 facilitators who have gone on to provide therapy to 3,688 children and 984 adults.
Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has committed to provide $364,000 over a two-year period, starting September 2022. As needs have grown exponentially since the escalation of war in Ukraine on February 24th, the funding will increase this program’s capacity for aid and enable more support to be provided overall.
The methodology of this program, “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques”, centres around PTSD and depression prevention for children with war trauma. This strategy averts the need for specialized psychotherapy and helps youth learn to cope with stressful and complicated life situations in the future.
Many children affected by war develop traumatic symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorders after experiencing life-threatening situations. Given the increasing number of children in Ukraine who are being traumatized by war, it is important to equip them with better coping strategies so that they would feel sufficiently more in control of their reactions and are able to benefit from the support of their families and use the opportunities available in their schools.
Over the next two years, 240 psychologists, educators, and social workers will be trained to provide mental health support for 9,900 internally displaced children with war trauma. This humanitarian program will be held in the Western region of Ukraine, specifically Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Chernivtsi oblasts.
Due to the ongoing Russian invasion, the need for psychological support continues to grow. Thanks to our generous donors, Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal is able to fund these incredibly important projects in Ukraine.
The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has been established jointly by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) to formalize a coordinated approach in providing humanitarian assistance quickly and efficiently to those in need in Ukraine to address any further aggression by Russia. The main efforts of cooperation are to provide humanitarian assistance/relief in the areas of assistance to displaced persons, medical care, emergency shelter and food security.