04 July 2022

91% of Ukrainians have never worked with psychologists. This number from open sources reflects the attitude to psychological help. People’s mental health took a blow in 2020 with the COVID pandemic and was aggravated by the war. Would it change the attitude to psychological help?

Olena Zadorozhna, PR director for the MIM-Kyiv delivered her presentation on the shared narratives for psychological health at the National Psychological Forum  “Psychological Assistance in Defense Sector of Ukraine” that was held by the State Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Here are the highlights of her presentation.

- Our government and the Ministry of Veterans Affairs are discussing the implementation of the system of psychological rehabilitation for combatants and civilians. It is a novelty for us. Unfortunately, we have not developed the protocols for the therapy. Development of the shared narratives promoting trust in and culture of mental health is one of the most challenging tasks. So far, 85% of the military are sure that they have to cope with their problems on their own instead of seeking help. On the other hand, they often cannot process their grief.

- Development of the programs of assistance is a part of the equation. Educating the audiences with the help of the values and needs of those audiences makes the task even more difficult.

- In my opinion, the toolbox used for the promotion of goods and services is very helpful here. First, we should learn more about our customers. Then, we should communicate the value of the service in their own words, needs, pains, and suffering.

We can see from social media posts that many people are sick with guilt and are exhausted mentally and physically. But we have no idea how many people are in need of help because many prefer to keep to themselves rather than make their sufferings public. We should identify those people before we develop the system.

All Forum participants also stressed the importance of protocols. Their recommendations will be included in the thesis of the Forum.