New psychosocial centre opens in Ukraine

Together with our partner the Global Initiative on Psychiatry, we are supporting a new EU-funded psychosocial centre that has opened in Ukraine.

The centre will support groups severely affected by the conflict to reintegrate with society, and move on with their lives.

The conflict in Ukraine has torn apart communities. Over 9,000 people have been killed, over 1.2 million people have become internally displaced (IDPs), and about 170,000 people have fled as refugees to Russia. Many IDPs, former combatants, families and children have suffered severe psychological trauma which must be addressed if they – and Ukraine – are to start on the road to recovery and build long-term peace.

The latest centre officially opened this month in Lviv, in Western Ukraine. Others have recently been launched in Kyiv, and another major city, Dnipro.

The centres are all piloting a new multidisciplinary approach to psychosocial assistance that has been developed in Georgia. Each of them aims to raise the standards of mental health services provided in Ukraine by incorporating global best practices.

Alongside these three centres, six mobile psychosocial teams have also been trained to support people close to the confrontation line in eastern Ukraine.

“All these services will help to lighten the burden of suffering for numerous people, many of whom have found themselves in the middle of a violent conflict through no fault of their own”, said our Ukraine Project Manager Inna Topal (pictured above left, opening the Lviv centre with our Country Manager Ryan Grist).

A second round of training for the mobile teams recently took place in Dnipro, conducted by the Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims.

“This training has been a great follow-up to the training that we received in September, and the study visit to Georgia last month”, said one of the trainees from Marinka, a town on the frontline that still suffers occasional heavy fighting, including artillery shelling.

The support that these mobile teams are providing is laying the foundations for further peacebuilding activities to take place within vulnerable communities such as those in Marinka.

These activities are all part of our EU-funded psychosocial seeds for peace project, which we are implementing with the Global Initiative on Psychiatry and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, together with a wide range of Ukrainian partners.

Find out more about our work in Ukraine.