Ukraine, Britain to cooperate on mental health issues

Ukraine, Britain to cooperate on mental health issues

Ukraine and Great Britain will pursue cooperation in the field of mental health.

This was discussed during a round table dedicated to Britain's experience in developing a mental health care system, Ukraine’s Health Ministry reports, according to Ukrinform.

Ukrainian experts who are working on creating the National Program of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support initiated by First Lady Olena Zelenska took part in the event via video conference. The event took place as part of the agreements reached between the First Lady of Ukraine and the Princess of Whales, Catherine.

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British experts shared their successful experiences in the field of mental health: the "Time to Change" anti-stigma program and the teams of mental health consultants working in "Place to Be" schools.

The "Time to Change" program lasted 20 years, throughout which the level of stigmatization of mental health issues decreased by 27%. Instead, the number of appeals by children and youths for services in the field of mental health has risen. Given this experience and the outcome of research by British colleagues, Ukrainian experts will launch work on developing an anti-stigmatization program for Ukraine.

Mental health teams in Place to Be schools promote a positive attitude towards mental health and wellbeing, working with children, parents, and faculty. As part of the program, “Time to Talk” spots for short-term counseling have been created in schools. They provide 15-minute short consultations for children focused on building up resilience and early intervention. Such experience is seen as useful for Ukraine in the process of introducing mental health services in the school and preschool environment.

In addition, the participants learned about the experience of Great Britain's work with veterans and military personnel on active duty, as well as the counseling of Ukrainians as part of the "Mind" services in West Sussex.

As reported by Ukrinform, the National Program of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support is an initiative put forward by First Lady Olena Zelenska, which aims to help citizens overcome war-related stress and consequences of experienced traumatic events, and prevent the development of mental disorders. The program is coordinated by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in close cooperation with Ukrainian and foreign experts, with the support of the World Health Organization.

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