IsraAID partnering with Ukrainian government to provide mental health care
Wednesday, September 21, 2022. For immediate release:
IsraAID, Israel’s leading non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, is working to build a mental health infrastructure in Ukrainian hospitals amid the ongoing fighting with Russia. IsraAID is partnering with Barrier Free – a Ukrainian NGO that supports mental health initiatives – and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. The partnership was established with the blessing and active support of the Office of the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
IsraAID is funding and training psychologists, social workers and other mental health providers that will be deployed to hospitals in Ukrainian cities. IsraAID held its first training with Ministry of Health officials last week, focusing on preventing burnout, mental health, and self care. The psychologists trained by the joint venture will work to support both patients and first responders at civil hospitals, which are working around the clock to support the Ukrainian population during this time of crisis. Together, IsraAID and partners are working to adapt the organization’s global humanitarian expertise to meet the needs of the Ukrainian people and build resilience.
In July, IsraAID began working within the borders of Ukraine, expanding on its emergency response missions in Moldova and Romania. The first psychosocial workshops in Ukraine were piloted that month in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, which was the site of mass civilian casualties during the first weeks of the war, and in Odesa. IsraAID has since established offices in Kyiv and Odesa.
In addition to its work in mental health and psychological support, IsraAID is working to expand access to safe drinking water in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, about 130km east of Odessa, after the city’s water infrastructure suffered widespread damage in the fighting. IsraAID has also partnered with the Ukrainian-Israeli NGO Frida to furnish and operate mobile medical clinics in Kyiv and the surrounding areas.
IsraAID launched its response to the ongoing Ukraine crisis on February 26th, two days after the Russian invasion, dispatching an Emergency Response team to Moldova to provide urgent support to the thousands of Ukrainian refugees crossing into the country. IsraAID’s team was one of the first international groups to reach the border crossing at Palanca, in southern Moldova, around 50km from Odesa. In Moldova, IsraAID has been working on protection, education, and medical support for refugees both at the border and in formal and informal shelters around the country.
In Romania, IsraAID has been operating the Tulcea Humanitarian Logistics Hub – the only humanitarian hub with a verified supply chain directly to southern Ukraine. Together with international partners, IsraAID has delivered over $35 million worth of essential aid – including food, medical supplies, bedding, clothing, diapers and more – to communities in urgent need. IsraAID’s new work in Ukraine builds on the relationships and trust established with communities across the country through the work of the Tulcea Humanitarian Logistics Hub.
Further information is available on request, including interviews with IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer and other individuals involved in this operation.
An IsraAID mental health workshop in Odesa, in July. Credit: IsraAID/Maxim PlenkIsraAID staff visiting the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, in July. Credit: IsraAID