A Crisis Psychological Assistance course for IRC psychologists initiated by Parimatch Foundation has been launched in the Chernivtsi region

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20.07.2022
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Parimatch Foundation, together with the Israeli Trauma Coalition, has launched a training course for IRC psychologists in the Chernivtsi region, specializing in «Psychological Support in Crisis». The project was implemented with the support of the Department of Education and Science of the Chernivtsi Regional Military Administration.

32 psychologists of Inclusive Resource Centers and educational institutions of the Chernivtsi region who work with children, including IDPs, received access to the course. The project aims to share with Ukrainian psychologists the latest techniques of crisis assistance that are needed when working with internally displaced persons of different ages during the war, so all psychologists who want to improve their skills can do it.

– We are grateful to the Parimatch Foundation for providing us with this opportunity to help people. It is important to understand that the mental health of our children is under the crosshairs of the russian terror and we need to know the techniques that can help our children and parents. We are used to the fact that the educational sector is primarily about acquiring knowledge, but now the educational process must be psychologicalized and we must help our children adapt to the «state of war» and live, learn to enjoy their childhood, – Oksana Sakrier, the director of the Department of Education and Science of the Chernivtsi Regional Military Administration shared her impressions.

«Psychological Support in Crisis» course was developed by experts of the Israeli Trauma Coalition. The course materials include psychological and emotional first aid protocols used in Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom, including self-help and assessment techniques, assessments, and acute reactions and trauma. One of the lecturers is Rita Gaba, an expert, a clinical psychologist, a psychologist of the educational system, and a specialist in the organization of learning processes for kids and children with special needs.

ITC has been operating in Ukraine since 2014 and supports a virtual community of approximately 1,600 trauma professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, offering dozens of online lectures and small groups of therapists.

– I emphasize that our experience repeats the experience of Israel, where even children in kindergartens know what to do in case of air-raid sirens. This experience is invaluable for us. It is important to support our children and their parents. We can’t lose the next generation, so we do everything possible to raise a nation of winners, who can create, develop and live despite the circumstances. I hope that this course will change our approach to mental health issues and we can support our children and parents at a completely different level,adds Oksana Sikrier.

It is to be noted that Bukovyna, like other regions in the West of Ukraine, has been receiving internally displaced persons from the areas of active hostilities since the first days of the full-scale invasion of Russia. The region is doing everything possible to ensure that IDPs and children, first of all, feel protected and happy, in particular, Bukovyna already cooperates with the Parimatch Foundation with the “Help Ukraine” program.

Parimatch Foundation Program Manager Anna Mazarchuk notes that the educational course was initiated as a part of the Foundation’s psychological rehabilitation strategic program for children and adults affected by the war – Mental Health.

– In peacetime, the Foundation’s activities were focused on sports, accessibility, and education. However, since the first days of the war, as millions of Ukrainians, we have tried to help those who need it most. In particular, in cooperation with regional administrations, we arranged shelters and sleeping places for displaced persons and provided humanitarian aid. Once the basic needs were met, the Foundation started to resume its key sports programs. But we felt the necessity to create a new Mental Health program dedicated to psychological rehabilitation and assistance to children affected by Russian aggression on the territory of Ukraine. As a part of this program we have launched the educational course for IRC psychologists, who provide their assistance to both IDPs and residents, to overcome the consequences of this war, and to remain mentally healthy and stable, – she says.

The project «Psychological Support in Crisis» course started in the Ternopil region, where 30 psychologists from the Inclusive Resource Centers already work with IDPs. The Lviv region became the next one to join the project; 49 specialists have been trained there. Currently, 28 psychologists from the Ivano-Frankivsk region are taking the course.

 

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