Ukraine First Lady Olena Zelenska has made expanding mental health support for Ukrainians her priority. Children and adults are suffering from heightened anxiety, post-traumatic stress, fear, insomnia, depression and more.
Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties’ Emergency Fund for Ukraine Relief has helped to address this need, particularly for children in frontline areas, in partnership with IsraAID.
“Recently, 60 Ukrainian specialists were trained by the project ‘Psychosocial Support During Wartime,’ a program of JFCS with IsraAID operating in Ukraine. These teams of physicians, trauma experts, community workers, and other professionals have led responses to crises around the world,” Zelenska said. “Thanks to this program, our Ukrainian specialists have mastered the techniques of psychological first aid to help people in Vinnytsia, Dnipro and the Kyiv region.”
Following last month’s disasters in Kyiv and Dnipro, this collaborative initiative responded immediately to provide psychological first-aid to survivors and grieving families. Ukrainian psychologists, teachers and other health professionals are receiving essential training in best-practice approaches to help children and families cope with trauma.
The program also offers psychosocial support services, offered in child-friendly spaces, to help Ukrainian children build resilience and coping skills. Teachers and school personnel are also receiving expert training to offer psychosocial support to students and to nurture mental wellness throughout the school community during wartime.
Visit donate.jfcs.org for ways to give and to locate aid resources.