The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has left a lot of us wondering what to do in these tough times.
It is easy to give into depression and anxiety. If you are feeling helpless, often the best thing to do is to help where you can. Here are some resources where you can donate or volunteer to support Ukrainian citizens and others affected by the war through volunteer work or charitable donations:
As clinicians, you may find yourself working with those affected by the situation in Ukraine in the coming months and years. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) provides these tips for protecting the mental health of refugees, immigrants, and those displaced during crisis situations:
- Ensure their safety, both physical and that of the treasured belongings they may have brought (e.g., locked trunks, etc.).
- Connect them to loved ones when possible.
- Use calming techniques that are nuanced to their culture.
- Be alert to usual illnesses present in their population – from diabetes to hypertension to schizophrenia.
- Remain aware and sensitive to trauma history.
- Be aware that children need the presence of caregivers and clear responses to their questions, but not to be overloaded with frightening information.
- Helping people with problem-solving is caring and supportive.
- Recruit “helpers” to assist others and have them extend your care.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers these resources for children and families who need support:
- Talking to Children About War
- Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
- Psychological First Aid for Displaced Children and Families
- Traumatic Separation and Refugee and Immigrant Children: Tips for Current Caregivers
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University also offers resources for psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals, humanitarian responders, and community leaders helping support those impacted:
- Managing the Stress of Children after a Crisis
- Post Disaster Stress Management for Parents
- Advancing the Health of the Family Left Behind
- Helping Communities and Families Recover after a Disaster
- Information for Responders on Emotional Reactions to Human Remains
- Leadership Communication for Anticipating and Responding to Stressful Events
- Leadership Stress Management
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