Experience of Israel: Parimatch Foundation launched a course — “Crisis Psychological Assistance” for psychologists in the Kyiv region

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Parimatch Foundation, an international charitable foundation, together with the Israeli Trauma Coalition, has launched a training course for psychologists in the Kyiv region with a specialization in Crisis Psychological Assistance. Training in the region is supported by the Kyiv Regional State Administration, the Department of Education and Science and the Kyiv Institute of Postgraduate Education of Pedagogical Personnel.

Access to the course has been granted to 62 psychologists from the Kyiv region. Two groups have been created for receiving a four-week training.

The goal of the project is to share with Ukrainian psychologists effective crisis assistance techniques needed for working with internally displaced persons of different age categories during the war.

This course has been developed by experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition, an association of non-governmental organizations engaged in providing psychosocial support for people affected by various kinds of disasters, including war. The main principle of the coalition’s activity is the allocation of resources to prepare the population for disasters and military operations, which leads to minimal costs in recovery and rehabilitation.

— During the first two months of the full-scale war, we received more than 4,000 requests for psychological assistance. Therefore, it is extremely important now to learn how to use the experience of Israel, which has significant expertise in helping people who witnessed terrible events. I would like that we could apply this knowledge that we will get here not only in training, but for all those people who suffer from armed aggression, — said Natalia Benderets, director of the Kyiv Regional Institute of Postgraduate Education.

The course of Crisis Psychological Assistance was developed by experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition. The training materials contain psychological and emotional first aid protocols used in Israel, the US and the UK.

The course of lectures for the Kyiv region was started by Denys Denysenko — psychologist, master in health management, certified gestalt therapist, coordinator of humanitarian assistance to the population in crisis situations. The expert has been working with the coalition since 2014, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the current war of conquest started.

Rita Gabay, expert of the Israeli Trauma Coalition, clinical psychologist and psychologist of the education system will continue the training process. The expert works in the field of psychotherapy and psychodiagnostics, as well as crisis interventions. She is a specialist in organizing learning processes for normotypical children and children with special needs, parent consultations, as well as supporting and supervising pedagogical and therapeutic teams.

Anna Mazarchuk, Program Manager in Parimatch Foundation, notes that the educational course was initiated as part of the strategic program of the Mental Health foundation for the psychological rehabilitation of children and adults affected by Russian aggression on the territory of Ukraine.

— One of the projects is the training of IRC psychologists and psychologists of educational institutions, who provide their assistance to both IDPs and local residents, to overcome the horrors of war, and remain mentally healthy and stable, regardless of outer circumstances.

The Parimatch Foundation, together with the Israel Trauma Coalition, launched the educational project of Crisis Psychological Assistance for psychologists in early May. It has already been successfully implemented in Ternopil, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions. In total, the course was attended by more than 180 specialists working both with internally displaced persons who found refuge in Western Ukraine and local residents. The foundation plans to train more psychologists in those regions where there is the highest number of IDPs.


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