Resources on Mental Health Impact on War in Ukraine

Please note this updated set of resources designed to address the needs of clinicians concerned about meeting mental health needs created by the crisis in Ukraine.

Josh Morganstein, M.D., Chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Disaster Committee, and a faculty member of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Center for Traumatic Stress, recently shared a valuable set of resources for mental health professionals which I thought might be helpful to all of us going forward.

The US is far from Ukraine but we know that there are many Americans with Ukrainian ties as well as many American military servicemembers, Veterans, and family members who are either directly affected by events in Ukraine or who resonate strongly with them because of past experience. Finally, it is likely that at least some of us may come into contact with refugees in the not too distant future.

Resources

Some important tips for clinicians to help protect the mental health of refugees, immigrants, and those displaced during crisis situations include:

  • Ensure their safety, both physical and that of the treasured belongings they may have brought (e.g., locked trunks, etc.).
  • Connect them to loved ones when possible.
  • Use calming techniques that are nuanced to their culture.
  • Be alert to usual illnesses present in their population - from diabetes to hypertension to schizophrenia.
  • Remain aware and sensitive to trauma history.
  • Be aware that children need the presence of caregivers and clear responses to their questions, but not to be overloaded with frightening information.
  • Helping people with problem-solving is caring and supportive.
  • Recruit "helpers" to assist others and have them extend your care.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers these resources for children and families who need support:

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University also offers resources for psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals, humanitarian responders, and community leaders helping support those impacted:

How to Help

The following are a few of the organizations supporting Ukrainian citizens and others affected by the war through volunteer work or charitable donations:

 



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