Immediate Psychological Support for Persons Affected by the War in Ukraine
The whole of Europe and in particular those around us with roots in the Ukraine are finding themselves faced with an indescribable and shocking situation
The University of Greifswald’s initiative ‘Joint Efforts for Psychological Health (GPG)’, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier (Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy) and Dipl.-Psych. Florian Harder from the Psychosocial Centre for Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Vorpommern (PSZ) at the Kreisdiakonisches Werk Greifswald e.V. would like to provide psychological support – as far as possible – to members of the university community with Ukrainian but also Russian backgrounds, as well as the Ukrainian refugees, who will soon be arriving.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, several hundred thousand Ukrainians are fleeing from war, destruction and death. The United Nations predict that the war will trigger a much larger flow of refugees. This war tore most of the people in Ukraine suddenly and without prior warning from their day-to-day lives. The confrontation with dreadful and traumatic events is hard to assimilate, especially for children and adolescents, who suffer from a loss of security and trust. For older people, the happenings bring back traumatic memories of the Second World War.
Here in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Ukrainians and those with family and friends in Ukraine also see themselves confronted with huge psychological stress as a result of the war. Not only traumatic scenes that have been experienced at first hand, but also the footage and reports from war scenarios can have long-lasting psychological effects if humans feel lonely during and in the aftermath of such traumatising events. The feelings of helplessness, anxiety or guilt, but also the hostility faced by Russians can also have significant psychological consequences.
Therefore, the project has set itself the goal of providing low-threshold, evidence-based and targeted psychological support to persons affected or those who feel mentally strained. The counselling offers can be arranged at short notice and are among a whole range of support offers that have been introduced since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
As of today, 1 March 2022, anyone who feels psychologically strained by the events and would like to take part in a counselling session, can write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The mid and long-term goal is to provide refugees from Ukraine, who are suffering from psychological strain and trauma, with evidence-based psychotherapy offers in individual and group settings and supported by interpreters.
A forum being held on Wednesday, 2 March 2022, from 6.00 p.m. onwards will approach the topic under the title ‘Psychological Effects of the War of Aggression in Ukraine: How Can We Support those Faced with Psychological Strain?’ Keynote speeches on the topic of the psychological implications of the war will be followed by an exchange and open discussion. We are very pleased that JProf. Dr. Roman Dubasevych, Chair of Ukrainian Cultural Studies at the University of Greifswald, will give his psycho-political view on the war and the psychological impact in the evening’s first talk. In addition, Prof. Dr. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier and Dipl.-Psych. Florian Harder will present their new support project for those who feel psychologically strained or traumatised by the war in Ukraine.
The project is supported both ideologically and financially by Prof. Dr. Katharina Riedel, Rector of the University of Greifswald, the Lord Mayor of the University and Hanseatic Town of Greifswald, Dr. Stefan Fassbinder, and the Sparkasse Vorpommern, which will enable the initiative e.g. to pay for interpreters.
Further information (in German)
Website of the initiative Joint Efforts for Psychological Health [de] https://psychologie.uni-greifswald.de/gemeinsam
Further information about the counselling offers provided by the initiative [de] https://psychologie.uni-greifswald.de/gemeinsam/beratung/
Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier
Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Director of the Centre for Psychological Psychotherapy (ZPP)
Wollweberstraße 1–3, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 3718