The conflict in Ukraine and its heavy toll

Ukraine has seen a lot of political tension and conflict in the past years. After the Russian annexation of the Crimea, an armed conflict broke out in the east of Ukraine between government troops and pro-Russian separatists.

The conflict that has been going on since 2014, has made for an increase in mental health and psychosocial problems. At the same time the mental health care system of Ukraine is under developed and is subject of a deeply rooted stigma against it. Community based organizations have not yet been able to fill the gap.

Displaced people fleeing the armed conflict and war veterans returning home in safer cities like Odessa are unable to access the psychosocial support and mental health care they need. Families, including many elderly and children, do not reach out to psychiatric or psychological services, afraid how the ‘label’ will affect them in their communities.

Local specialist centres and communities have responded, often voluntarily, to the mental health needs of the population. WarTrauma collaborates with Soft Tulip Network and its local partners in Odessa to improve the quality of existing state and community-based (mental health) services for war survivors.