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International Initiative on Mental Health Leadership Statement in Support of Ukranian People

AASWSW endorses the IIMHL/IIDL statement on the situation in Ukraine


The conflict in Ukraine continues to cause distress and concern around the world. For the people of Ukraine, it is resulting in loss of life, as well as extreme hardship and the effects will be long lasting. Across the world we have seen images from Ukraine, of people of all ages who are clearly distressed, saddened and now experiencing psychological and physical harm.
We know from other traumatic events, in particular during times of war, that the Ukrainian people will experience enormous mental distress, trauma, and harm as a result of this tragic humanitarian crisis. Acts of aggression are known to cause a wide range of mental harm, and in this case, may also bring back traumas from the past, not only in Ukraine but in surrounding countries who are expressing both alarm and fear about what has occurred. For those people who have already fled Ukraine to these areas, the history of such mass movement of people is rekindling transgenerational trauma for all.

IIMHL has been working with Ukrainian leaders as part of a development program with the WHO, aimed at enabling those leaders to learn from others around the world about how to successfully transform and improve mental health services. Those leaders will never have been more needed than they are now.

IIMHL makes this statement in support of those Ukrainian mental health leaders and of the Ukrainian people as well as those in the surrounding countries who, at some risk, do not condone the actions of the leadership in those countries responsible for this crisis. We will continue to support their efforts for improving mental health, a task that will require even greater leadership and determination. We hope for their return to a safe and secure country, free of fear.

The Board and Chief Executive of IIMHL/IIDL

Please find below some good ways to #help

  • Donate to the Red Cross or UNICEF. Both organizations provide mental health support (next to other support) in Ukraine and refugee camps in surrounding countries.
  • Donate to OutRight Action International to help them ensure that #LGBTQ+ groups have safe shelters
  • Donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal @decappeal
  • Donate to the WHO Ukraine Appeal @WHO.

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