Ukraine: 15,000 school psychologists trained by UNESCO to support learners and teachers
22 August 2023
Today, UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine launch the training of 15.000 school psychologists to withstand the impact of the war on the mental health of Ukrainian learners and teachers.
A study found that 75% of Ukrainian schoolchildren have experienced stress and 26% of Ukrainian teenagers have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. There is an urgent need to strengthen psychosocial support to help them recover from the trauma and emotional distress induced by the war.
"UNESCO is determined to support Ukraine in promoting mental health and psychosocial support within the education sector. Our initiative will amplify the resilience of learners and educators and contribute to reduce the stigma around mental health."
- Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education
In recent months, UNESCO and its partners certified 117 psychologists from 24 regions of Ukraine. They will now train 15,000 school psychologists to equip them with the knowledge and competencies necessary to provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the context of war. This ambitious program is supported financially by Japan.
Fostering resilience amidst war
The course comprises four modules that draw on lessons learnt from an in-depth assessment of current practices in mental health and psychological support and a survey of over 4,500 psychologists in educational institutions. Each module consists of three video lecture sessions, a practical assignment, a supervisory session, and a concluding test.
"This comprehensive training will equip school psychologists with knowledge, skills and tools to identify and address mental health issues among educational communities, with a view to creating safe and healthy learning environments that promote well-being and resilience amidst war. Together, we work to respond to today's challenges so that students can overcome obstacles, achieve academic success and become healthy and responsible citizens.
- Oksen Lisovyi, Minister of Education and Science, Ukraine
This initiative complements UNESCO's existing support for teachers, including the distribution of more than 50,000 Google Chromebooks and their training in digital pedagogies. It also aligns with UNESCO’s comprehensive programme to strengthen the resilience of the education system in Ukraine, supported by the Global Partnership for Education.