HI participates in a mental health helpline in Ukraine

Round-the-clock nationwide support

HI has partnered with the Chernivtsi University of Medical Psychology and the Ukrainian Psychosocial Organization (UPSO) to participate in a mental health and psychosocial support helpline. Originally launched by the Minister of Health and the University during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide services remotely, the project has grown and now targets people affected by the current conflict in Ukraine.

“The helpline supports people in conflict zones and people who cannot access mental health and psychosocial support services, explains Caglar Tahiroglu, Head of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support and Health Emergencies at HI in Ukraine. It works all day, it is accessible from all over the country”.

HI provides financial material support and technical assistance in the field of mental health so that the service can operate 24 hours a day. Run by volunteers, the service has a total of 10 psychologists, who received 725 calls during the March alone.

But the helpline also offers support in other medical specialties, including general practitioners, paediatricians, pulmonologists, cardiologists, surgeons and gynecologists. Users dial the number, explain their need and are immediately directed to the appropriate specialist.

In the space of a month, the helpline responded to nearly 6,000 calls with a wide variety of needs.

“This month, we will expand our support by offering training and clinical supervision groups to improve mental health and psychosocial support services, Caglar explains. We will also provide mental health and psychosocial support to all hotline specialists to build their capacity and prevent the risk of burnout in the face of such high demands. »

HI plans to extend the collaboration with the university and UPSO to other cities.

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