College response to the conflict in Ukraine 

This page includes links to resources for use by psychiatrists who may be able to help others in relation to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Military conflict can have a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of people on the ground and beyond, creating anxiety about the safety and welfare of loved ones, causing the breakdown of health services and society, and forcing many to flee. The RCPsych welcomes the World Psychiatric Association's statement calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Those who can are invited to donate money to Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

Members of our International Advisory Committee (IAC) have been in contact with national and international agencies to ascertain what practical support the College can offer, many have responded and the College is working with them to deliver psychological first aid (PFA) training. 

The College is grateful to the many members who have offered to help.

We wish to extend our support to our colleagues from Ukraine and to let you know that there is help available from the Psychiatrists Support Service.

Very sadly, Ukraine is the latest crises to be included in a growing list of humanitarian emergencies that require a response from the College. The RCPsych has built up a body of knowledge from the response it has provided to other international emergencies, and is drawing together an Emergency Response Delivery Plan which can be used used as a template both for Ukraine and for other contexts. 

Resources

The world faces an unprecedented number of humanitarian emergencies and the conflict in Ukraine is another crises requiring global humanitarian assistance 

This eLearning module will help psychiatrists have a better understanding of their role in complex emergencies, in keeping with international guidelines. 

This module is available free of charge to members and non members

eLearning Hub: Complex humanitarian emergencies: mental health and psychosocial response

Refugees are subject to a wide range of day-to-day stressors, and many will have been exposed to potentially traumatic events. In this podcast Ruth Wells talks to Raj Persaud about her experiences working with Syrian refugees in Jordan, and discusses how mental health professionals can best address their psychosocial needs.

eLearning podcast: The mental health needs of refugees

In this podcast, Dr Raj Persaud speaks with Dr Orest Suvalo, a psychiatrist based in Ukraine who is coordinating a support centre that has been set up at Lviv central train station. They discuss the impact of the war on the mental health of the people he meets arriving into and passing through the station, on those with mental health and psychiatric diagnoses, as well as on Dr Suvalo himself as he continues to live and work in Ukraine.

eLearning podcast: Mental health in Ukraine

In this podcast Dr Raj Persaud is in conversation with Dr Dmytro Assonov, discussing his work with Ukrainian veterans in the field; how his work has changed due to the current climate; the motivations, resilience and patriotism that he witnesses in the soldiers who have joined the Ukrainian fight against Russia; and the changing theories for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

eLearning Podcast: The psychology of the Ukrainian soldier 

General Principles of Psychological First Aid webinar – 30 March 2022

Dr Peter Hughes FRCPsych and Vitalii Klymchuk, Community Mental Health Services Coordinator at MH4U, presented an overview of the principles of PFA and its application in crisis settings.

Watch the webinar

Download the slides

Free Members Webinar – 27 May 2021

On 27 May 2021, we delivered a webinar on the principles and practice of Psychological First Aid.

This webinar focussed on the devastating effect of COVID-19 in India and the wider South Asian region but the principles discussed apply to all humanitarian crises  

Watch the webinar

Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers

This guide covers psychological first aid which involves humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering serious crisis events. It is written for people in a position to help others who have experienced an extremely distressing event. It gives a framework for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.

Translations are available amongst many others in Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian, and Serbian.

Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers

RCPsych mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide Webinar – 5 April 2022

Dr Peter Hughes FRCPsych and Vitalii Klymchuk, Community Mental Health Services Coordinator at MH4U, presented an overview of the WHO’s mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide, which is a mental health toolkit designed for emergency settings.

Watch the webinar

Download the slides

The the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) was created by United Nations General Assembly in 1991 and is the longest-standing and highest-level humanitarian coordination forum. 

The IASC have created internationally recognised Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings

 

The invasion of Ukraine is devastating for its citizens and of concern to us all.

The impact on children is described well in the following paper  War hits children first.

There are helpful resources for those who wish to support children and families who are directly or indirectly affected by the war on our website:

    Information in English

    Our information is written by doctors in collaboration with patients and carers. It is checked by patients and carers to make sure it is clear and easy to understand. Information on other problems and disorders can be found in the mental health section of our website. 

    Translations

    We are able to provide translations of our resources thanks to the work of volunteers, who have been passionate about making sure that our information is available in a range of languages.

    Information in Ukrainian

    Information in Russian

    MHPSS.net is an online platform for people concerned with Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in situations of emergencies and adversity. Membership is free and open to the wide range of people and organisations engaged with mental health and psychosocial support.

    The Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network

    The College Library provides access to eBooks including this volume. To access please use the eBooks tab in the journals and databases search to look for ' Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness Evaluation and Treatment'.