According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as of June 08, 2022, the intense military escalation of a Russian Federation military invasion into Ukraine, that has lasted since 24 February 2022, has resulted in the loss of life, injuries, and mass movement and displacement of 7.1 million civilian population internally throughout the country (IDPs) and 4.8 million to European countries, as well as severe destruction and damage to civilian infrastructure and residential housing. The armed violence escalated in at least eight oblasts (regions), including Kyiv region and the capital city of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson region as well as Donetsk and Luhansk regions which were already affected by the war conflict with Russia in 2014. Western oblasts, where most of the internally displaced people (IDPs) have fled to, include Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattia, Chernivtsi, Volyn regions.
The war in Ukraine continues to impact the mental health of millions of Ukrainians. The humanitarian needs of people affected, those on the move and internally displaced, are critical. Trauma care, primary care, essential medicine and medical supplies are urgently needed. There is also an urgent need to scale-up reception capacities in places of arrivals of internally displaced people, including the possibility to provide essential protection services, such as psycho-social support and individual counselling. The pre-existing mental health and psychosocial support needs of the population have intensified. Health care workers face overloading, and understaffing and are at increased risk of psychological distress and mental health disorders as a result of witnessing traumatic events. As the hostilities continue to develop, the need for psychological therapy and psycho-emotional support will only continue to grow during and after the war.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Health estimates on June 07, that 15 million people might require psychological support and treatment due to war-related trauma and stress, with 3 to 4 million potentially requiring medication-assisted treatment. Multiple UN agencies have also been raising the alarm about the long-term mental health impact of the war in Ukraine.
“CHILDREN AND WAR. TEACHING RECOVERY TECHNIQUES” METHODOLOGY
The “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” methodology is an effective tool of psychological self-help for people with traumatic consequences of war, natural disasters, and other cataclysms. It works well with both children and adults, as it is a result of the combined years of direct experience of working with survivors of war and disaster.
It was developed in 1998 by professionals from the Institute of Psychiatry in London, the UK, and the Center for Crisis Psychology in Bergen, Norway, and has been used after earthquakes in Iran, India, Chile, and China, the tsunami in South East Asia in 2000, as well as war conflicts in Africa, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine. In Ukraine, the manual was translated and adapted by experts from the Ukrainian Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Lviv, Ukraine). Since 2015, it has been successfully used to teach trainers and to conduct therapy courses in Ukraine within the framework of the “Helping Hand in Ukraine” project, implemented by “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation.
The program primarily aims to provide support to children. At the same time, we conduct therapy sessions also for parents and other adults. Unfortunately, many children who suffered from war exhibit traumatic symptoms and signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after they experienced life-threatening situations. Displacement, separation from their family, and disruption of the school studying process – all influence the mental health of children. Considering the growing number of Ukrainian children who suffered from war, it is important to equip them with the best trauma coping strategies and tools. “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” program is one of such strategies.
This innovative methodology promotes the development of special skills in children and adults for reducing the psychological after-effects of trauma through self-help, relaxation and healing techniques in the face of intense war-related stress. In addition, it is designed to reduce anxiety and prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other complications in the future.
THERAPY PROVEN EFFECTIVENESS:
- 0% re-traumatization during therapy sessions;
- 90% of participants note improvement in their psycho-emotional condition and ability to cope with post-traumatic stress;
- 100% of participants start feeling safe and relaxed within the group.
HOW IT HELPS:
- During a therapy course children and adults acquire practical skills and techniques that help to cope with psychological consequences of disastrous events and can be used as self-help tools to cope with critical stressful situations in future;
- Learning methodology is well thought-through by the experts and comprises tools that proved to be effective for over 20 years of practice in different cultures and conditions;
- The effectiveness of therapy is impressive – children become less anxious, they sleep better, get rid of the nightmares, intrusive thoughts and panic attacks, and they start to feel safe more often;
- It is proven that the participants of the program who learned and started to practice recovery techniques regularly will rarely need professional treatment in future.
To become a trainer in the “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” methodology one doesn’t need to have a psychological education. Teachers, youth workers, pedagogues, psychologists, counsellors, community leaders, volunteers, and other childcare professionals can take a 3-day training and become program trainers who can conduct therapy sessions with groups.