Given the degree of trauma experienced by Ukrainian civilians, military personnel, children, parents, teachers, families, and healthcare professionals, HUG’s efforts to enhance mental healthcare for Ukrainian patients and clinicians take several crucial directions:
- Provision of direct services on the ground. HUG’s standard to provide evidence-based care translates to our careful assessment of programs for both clinical and cultural efficacy. We are in process of evaluating several proposals from Ukrainian colleagues of existing as well as de novo programming.
- Training the Trainer. Through our current educational initiatives, as well as plans being explored with Ukrainian partners to implement both in-person and virtual trainings, we support our Ukrainian colleagues to expand and improve delivery of mental health and trauma-informed care. Such training includes bringing psychiatry specialist(s) to learn state-of-the-art multidisciplinary team approaches for both inpatient and outpatient medical care through our Harvard medical SAR initiative. The concept also includes consideration of live and virtual conferences per the request, again, of our Ukrainian healthcare peers.
- Trauma Informed Care (TIC). As part of our Harvard medical SAR imitative, we are designing a TIC curriculum for incorporative delivery for all practitioners who participate, regardless of specialty. This plan is in response to the degree of universal trauma exposure and resultant risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that now factors into patient care for every medical field and possibly will for generations. The TIC curriculum will include teaching of definitions, screening techniques, language and history taking, review of signs and symptoms, neurophysiology, case review, and more.
- Autism Unity: As HUG colleagues describe in a recent opinion piece, adults and children with pre-existing mental healthcare needs or neurodevelopmental conditions, like autism, have unfortunately not been made a priority in Ukraine. Therefore, lack of access to care from properly trained professionals has been exponentially compounded by the war. HUG has partnered with the NGO, Autism Unity, to provide needed materials and equipment for on-the-ground service providers who support kids and parents, including laptops fully loaded with appropriate therapeutic curricula and programs.