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Ukrainian refugees need more mental health support, charity says

30 Jan 2023 2 minute read
People fleeing the military offensive in Ukraine. UN Women Europe and Central Asia (CC 2.0)

Ukrainian refugees require more psychological support to cope with the impact of the Russian invasion of their country, a charity has said.

In a report published on Monday, Ukrainian psychologists Marina Kedrova and Sergii Ugrium said refugees and internally-placed people had suffered from a “profound range of problems” since the invasion in February 2022.

These included anxiety, emotional instability, feelings of “survivor’s guilt” and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a series of interviews with refugees, Ms Kedrova and Mr Ugrium also found some Ukrainians feared human trafficking and physical abuse, as well as aggression from those who had remained in Ukraine once they returned home.


Children have been particularly affected by psychological symptoms, in some cases regressing and struggling with school in their host countries, in turn adding to the burdens faced by their parents.

Further problems have been caused by difficulties integrating in refugee host countries, due to language and cultural barriers making it hard to access services.

The researchers have called for more to be done to support the mental health of Ukrainians, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, saying the whole population of Ukraine were “psychological victims of Putin’s aggression”.

They added: “It is already clear there is a need to provide increased psychological and psychiatric support for the innocent victims of war.

“This will be particularly challenging as refugees return to a war-torn Ukraine with a vast array of reconstruction needs.”

The report will be launched on Monday during an event in Parliament hosted by Conservative MP Matthew Offord, who chairs the all-party group on explosive threats, and the charity REVIVE Campaign.

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