Fear weighs heavily on the psychology of Ukrainians after two years of war

Fear weighs heavily on the psychology of Ukrainians after two years of war 0

Fear weighs heavily on the psychology of Ukrainians after two years of war

(Dan Tri) – It is estimated that nearly half of Ukraine’s population needs psychological support as the more than 2-year war with Russia shows no signs of stopping.

Ukrainian soldiers attend a stress management lesson at a military medical center in Donetsk (Photo: Al Jazeera).

When Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine more than two years ago, Alina Viatkina, 28, adopted a dog.

Even though she had no permanent residence, she knew that taking care of her pet would be a comfort.

Since 2017, Viatkina, a psychology student, has worked as a manager for an NGO that supports veterans and their families with mental health.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Health estimates that nearly half of the population, 15 million out of 38 million, are in need of psychological support, while 3-4 million may need medication.

First Lady Olena Zelenska is the face of the campaign called `Are you okay?`.

But despite the resources invested, many people still fear an impending psychological crisis.

`In the first year of the war, we saw a wave of anxiety. In the second year, we experienced a wave of depression,` Viatkina said.

`When the war ends, we will have a mental health crisis, because there are so many emotions that people are suppressing right now,` she predicted.

When the 2014 conflict broke out between the Ukrainian army and the separatists, she joined a volunteer medical battalion.

When she returned home, she could not find peace in her heart.

When the war broke out in 2022, her husband joined the army.

`The experience of being a soldier’s wife is even harder than being on the front lines. I work with a therapist, but I still feel like my whole life stopped the day he enlisted,` she said.

`When he returned from the front, I was heartbroken. As his wife, I wanted to spend time with him. But as a veteran and a mental health professional, I knew that

Psychological `healing`.

Along with offering therapy sessions, Viatkina and her team launched Baza last year.

The app features meditation recordings, explains the damage done to the body, and teaches people how to cope with stress.

The use of internet technology and applications has become widespread in addressing mental health challenges in Ukraine.

Ukrainians also use the Svidok application.

With about 4,000 members and 2,000 testimonies, Svidok has documented many people’s experiences of everyday life, volunteerism, migration journeys and wartime tragedies.

Writing a diary was the first method that Olena Kuk, 27 years old, used.

`I started crying in the middle of the interview. I was so embarrassed because it didn’t feel professional. I couldn’t breathe, there simply wasn’t enough air. After that incident, I understood, no,

However, the application also has certain limitations.

For older adults, coming together in community and sharing experiences is often the preferred way to cope with trauma.

With this format, participants come to a stage, tell their own stories and watch them performed on the spot by professional actors.

`People won’t want to seek psychological help, but when you say it’s theater performance, they’re willing to participate and tell their story. You can’t call it therapy.`

Together with the Deja vu group, Savinov supported internal migrants and veterans in hospitals.

However, his project also encountered problems.

Savinov said there is currently only 1 psychologist for every 100,000 people in Ukraine.

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