Ukraine endorses roadmap on mental health during the war under Prime Minister and First Lady of Ukraine
09 December 2022
A WHO supported roadmap on mental health and psychosocial support of populations in Ukraine during and after the war.
It has been presented and endorsed at a high level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Ukraine and attended by the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
The operational roadmap entitled “Ukrainian Prioritized Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Actions During and After the War" sets out priority actions and principles in the field of mental health and psychosocial support in different sectors including health, social work and education and includes priority actions aimed at various population groups including veterans and their families, internally displaced persons, people with disabilities, people who have experienced gender-based violence, people who have suffered from landmines and other groups.
The roadmap also includes resources and a list of evidence-based interventions and services for mental health and psychosocial support that have been adapted to the context in Ukraine over the last few years.
More than 1000 experts inputted on the roadmap including representatives of the public sector, UN agencies, international and national organizations working in the field of development and humanitarian response and it was developed as part of the implementation of the national mental health program initiated by the First Lady of Ukraine earlier this year, supported by WHO.
Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine explained how the roadmap would contribute to the effective coordination of multiple stakeholders in the field of mental health service provision.
“Alignment with this roadmap will ensure that the provision on mental health services for populations in Ukraine as well as the development of the mental health system will be conducted in line with the best global practices and will also contribute to the effective planning and distributions of all available resources in this regard. WHO in Ukraine is here to stay and will continue working with all our partners on strengthening mental health service provision in Ukraine,” explained Dr Habicht.
According to the new roadmap, emergency response during the war should take into account and complement the achievements of reforms and innovations of previous years, and be planned in a way to contribute to the further strengthening the country's mental health system.
The meeting of the “Interagency Coordination Council on Mental Health and Provision of Psychological Assistance to Victims of the Russian Federation's Aggression Against Ukraine” a body of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, was attended by ministers, UN leadership, WHO, the European Union and representatives of embassies of the USA, Canada, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
Denise Brown, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, noted that the United Nations considers mental health and psychosocial well-being one of the priorities of humanitarian response and also emphasized its importance for Ukraine during the period of recovery and reconstruction.
“Together with WHO and with the engagement of other UN agencies, we have mobilized our efforts to strengthen our support today and in the years to come" emphasized Ms Brown.
First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska said: “"It is extremely important that all agencies are active participants in this interaction. We don't have time for long-term experiments, so the best international experience, collected for you in cooperation with Belgium, the USA, Great Britain and Israel, demonstrates what elements can be adapted for the service model in Ukraine. I would like to express my special thanks to the World Health Organization and USAID for their understanding of our needs and comprehensive assistance. And even today, it is becoming increasingly clear that the unique experience that, unfortunately, Ukraine is gaining, will enable our country to add its cases and practices to the global baggage of mental health," the President's wife emphasized.