WHO on the mental health of refugees from Ukraine

Millions of people from Ukraine are fleeing the war in the EU countries. Many are traumatized both physically and mentally.

The World Health Organization expresses concern about the psychological state of Ukrainian refugees. Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, Policy Director for WHO Europe, notes that the region has not yet recovered from the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic:

“This is a crisis superimposed on another crisis. Of course, what people from Ukraine are now experiencing is a completely different level than the inconvenience of quarantine. Some of them witnessed extreme violence, their family members and loved ones died. Many women were forced leave their homes, leaving men in Ukraine capable of protecting her, not knowing when they will be reunited, but in the meantime, finding themselves in refugee camps. All this greatly affects the mental health of people.”

Many refugees who left Ukraine suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, reports euronews. The European Commission has already allocated 9 million euros for medical assistance to them. The WHO Regional Representative expresses his hope that the money will be used as effectively as possible:

“Many countries have already put in place systems that give Ukrainian refugees access to health services, including mental health services. These services were under enormous pressure even before the pandemic, we were still unable to meet all the needs of patients in the European region. And before the pandemic, and during it, such needs have increased everywhere. But the lessons have been learned. Governments and society have recognized the need to invest in the prevention of mental illness. Mental health services have grown at an unprecedented rate.”

Meanwhile, yesterday, MEPs called for more support for women and girls who came from Ukraine. The countries of the European Union are trying to meet their needs in housing, education, work, health care. Show them every kind of hospitality and take care of their well-being.

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