April 13, 2021 – “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation has held “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” training in Slovyansk on April 06-08, 2021. This was a third and concluding training in the series of educational events for the psychologists, social workers, educators and volunteers, held within the “Helping Hand for Ukraine: Psycho-Social Support Program” Project

For three days 18 participants from Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Sviatohirsk, Lyman, Kostiantynivka, Cherkaske, Dobropillia have worked together with the trainers’ team on the topics of war trauma, PTSD and depressions in children, studies and practiced the techniques of self-regulation and relaxation.

Here is the feedback from some of the participants:

“I am grateful for the introduction to the “Children and War” program. I received unique experience, lots of practical exercises and structure. I have worked in the war line zone since 2015 and have searched for the tools to work with children and adults, which would allow reducing the level of resistance and teaching them self-help techniques. These resourceful techniques help to find self-confidence and realize that you always have a choice and opportunities”. (Nataliya, psychologist, Kostiantynivka)

“The topic of the training is very up-to-date – I work with children and parents and I can assure that this program will work and it is important to use it. I liked the structure, the dynamics and format of the training, the group work and possibility to see how the tools actually work. The theoretical part was very clear and specific. I liked the exercises – “The Ladder”, “Work with Images”, “Thermometer” and everything related to tension and stress relief and relaxation. Thank you for the opportunity to deal with own traumatic experience, work it though and feel for myself how these tools work!” (Maryna Kononenko, psychologist, Kostiantynivka)

Taking into consideration the long-lasting war conflict and the lack of psychosocial support in the country in general, the importance of the training program is in its simplicity, possibility to use not only with war-traumatized children, but in any traumatic situation in the life of a child. I loved the dynamics and structure of the training, specific real life examples, possible hurdles and complications, theoretical part and possibility to practice what we learned. I would like to have more time to try myself in the trainer’s role”. (Olha Sobolieva, psychologist, Slovyansk)

The “Helping Hand for Ukraine: Psycho-Social Support Program” Project is aimed at contributing to the improvement of the mental health and rehabilitation services for children with war trauma in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine by introducing a psychosocial support training program to school psychologists, social workers, and pedagogical students. We aspire to strengthen the competencies of mental health care and rehabilitation specialists and increase the access to psychological rehabilitation services development activities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Project is financed from the funds of the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Project continues previous initiatives of the “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation, which included trainings and supervision for volunteers, social workers, psychologists working with IDPs from Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk regions; therapy sessions for traumatized children. In 2016-2018 we trained specialists in Ukraine’s 24 regions; in 2019-2020 – we focused our efforts on those who continue to live and work in “red” zone of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Among the other donors of the “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project in 20216-2020 are affiliate organizations in other countries – “HOPE worldwide Canada”, “HOPE worldwide” (USA), “HOPE worldwide Switzerland” charitable organisations, Ukrainian Credit Union (UCU, Canada). The Ukrainian Institute of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (Lviv, Ukraine) is our long-term partner of the project.

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