War in Ukraine already crossed the 6th Month period of time and there are no Ukrainian affected by it. A lot of Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes in search for safety shelter but there are also the ones who stayed in the country. All of them go through the hardest times of their lives - destroyed homes, no job, difficulties of adaptation in a new country or trying to live under missile attacks, losses among people you used to know and this is not even a full list of what Ukrainians go through. Everyday more and more people need first psychological aid and don’t know where to find it.
Important to know that not every specialist can provide qualified first psychological aid during the war. There were psychologists that used to work with militaries, but they were not able to cover civilians’ needs for help. Therefore, representatives of the Parimatch Foundation decided to launch the training for psychologists, so they can provide the first psychological aid in war conditions according to the most modern methods.
For support, the Parimatch Foundation turned to Israeli colleagues, who know better than anyone what it’s like to be in a state of protracted military conflict, so it can be assumed that their methods of providing first psychological aid in war conditions are the most modern and effective. The training began in May in the western regions of Ukraine and continues to this day. In August, psychologists from Israel began training under the “Crisis Psychological Assistance” program of Ukrainian specialists in the Kyiv regions. A total of 150 Ukrainian psychologists have already completed training and have already started working with people affected by the war.
How to provide initial psychological assistance to an adult during wartime
Ukrainian specialists were given special protocols for providing first psychological aid for adults, which are used by psychologists in Israel, Great Britain and the USA. A set of techniques quickly helps to extinguish negative emotions and stabilize the condition of an emotionally affected person. Psychologists also work with clients on self-help exercises. It is important to understand that the work of a psychologist is not a one-time event. Psychologists work with clients until they are ready to independently overcome emotional crises and only then give instructions with rights for self-help. Refugees and citizens of Lviv, Chernivtsi, and Ternopil regions are already taking courses under Israeli programs. First psychological aid for adults became accessible to everyone.
Parimatch Foundation not only cares about providing first psychological aid to war victims, but also helps financially. The program to support displaced people started on the first day of the war and the company continues to allocate funds for those in need. At the moment, 510,000 euros have been allocated for the support of war victims, and 190,000 euros for humanitarian aid. First psychological aid in war conditions cannot be effective without covering the basic everyday needs of a person. Material and psychological assistance are integral parts of the general process of recovery from war injuries.
How to provide initial psychological assistance to a child during wartime
Special attention of Israeli specialists was paid to provide first psychological aid for children. Since this is the most vulnerable part of society, the general methods to deal with first psychological aid is not appropriate for childrens. Parimatch Foundation gives children the opportunity not only to work with psychologists, but also to participate in sports and cultural programs, for example, “Yes, I can!”. To overcome fear, aggression, uncontrolled emotions, experts work with children both individually and in groups. It is important that first psychological aid for children should be focused not only at overcoming post-traumatic syndrome, but also at re-socialization in society.
Psychologists pay more attention to children, as their consciousness is just forming and it is important to provide professional first psychological aid in war conditions as soon as possible. It is also necessary to correctly select the program according to the age and moral state of the child, therefore the treatment process is carried out exclusively individually based on the available resources.p>
How to help a child who finds himself in the epicenter of war events. Advice for adults
Parimatch Foundation helps to cope with the trauma of war not only by working with specialists, but also by providing access to information for self-help. The Telegram channel “Support the Child” was created by the Foundation. These are free instructions for adults on how to properly calm a child and provide first psychological aid during the war .Tips are prepared for children of different ages and different levels of injuries. For example, if teenagers have a need to talk about trauma with adults, then younger children need to be distracted from the terrible reality as soon as possible and for as long as possible. For child, first psychological aid is attention, contact and switching to positive emotions. Try to allocate time for entertainment for children – like reading a book, watching cartoons. Feel free to rest and have fun with the little one.
Make sure that the child is close to loved ones
First of all, it is important for a child to be with a relative, close person in order to feel safe. If the adult himself is in a depressed state, qualified help should also be provided to him in parallel. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. First psychological aid during the war to a child is a complex of actions, and working with a psychologist is only part of the treatment process. Tactile contact, a gentle calm voice, fairy tales or a song at night – this is what can calm no less than complex exercises.
Protect the child from horrors
Children are considered the most vulnerable layer of society, as their psyche is still at the stage of formation. If the horrors of the war do not immediately affect the child, they can manifest themselves in adulthood. In this case, the first psychological aid is longer and more difficult. Therefore, it is important not to start the process of overcoming the consequences of the war in the child. Psychologists who have undergone retraining under the auspices of the Israel Trauma Association work to ensure that first psychological aid solves problems, rather than postponing them for later.
Show the child that he is not alone
In order for the child not to feel alone and unwanted, it is important that the first psychological aid during the war is expressed not only in words. Parimatch Foundation made sure that not only mattresses and food, but also sports equipment were delivered to the places where the refugees are. With the help of the fund, specialists begin training, sports teams are created. Thus, the first psychological aid is found in socialization and permanent employment. And the opportunity to visit summer camps in Transcarpathia and Cyprus as part of the “Help to Ukraine” program became the best therapy for children and teenagers.