Round table: experience of organizations in suicide prevention among veterans

7 квітня 2021 р.

Zoom conference on computer

Round table: experience of organizations in suicide prevention among veterans

7 квітня 2021 р.

On March 5, at 10:00, an online round table was held on the topic: "the importance of suicide prevention during challenges in society: wars and the Covid-19 pandemic. the experience of organizations".

According to WHO, every year about 800 thousand people commit suicide, and every 40 seconds there is 1 case of suicide on the planet. Ukraine is one of the European countries with the highest suicide rate among the population. The war in eastern Ukraine has further exacerbated mental health problems among Ukrainians, in particular among the veterans' community and their families. With the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health problems will only increase. The consequences of a pandemic increase the risk of suicide: isolation, instability, fear, risk of job loss, decreased social activity. This requires a quick response from mental health professionals and comprehensive community-based work.

In order to respond to veterans' mental health problems, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperation with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (USA), the IREX program "veterans reintegration program", implemented with financial support from the State Department's Bureau of conflict and stabilization, and together with local partners, implements psychological assistance and reintegration programs for veterans, namely: the Seth psychological assistance program and the Lifeline Ukraine national hotline.

According to Oksana Varvarich, Seth's trainer: "according to a 2016-2019 study, approximately 30% of the surveyed veterans and their family members may have suicidal thoughts of varying intensity. The study, which began in 2020, is still ongoing, but the data on this particular indicator do not differ significantly. Seth's psychological assistance program has already proven its effectiveness in various countries of the world, including Ukraine. A clear security protocol, which is trained by all Seth consultants, allows you to identify a person in a state of crisis, organize the necessary psychological support for him and prevent suicide by a veteran or a member of his family."

"Now there is a steady deterioration in the mental state among the population. The set program has already become a ready-made and effective solution for our community, in particular, psychologists of the city center for support of ATO veterans in Mykolaiv have been trained under this program and all psychological services to veterans are now funded by the local budget.",- said the deputy mayor of Nikolaev Anatoly Petrov.

In 2019, Ukraine launched a national, professional, free round-the-clock hotline for Suicide Prevention and mental health support among ATO/OOS veterans and their families Lifeline Ukraine. "Thanks to this project, veterans can receive professional psychological assistance in crisis situations in any corner of the country.

As of March 25, 2021, Lifeline Ukraine received 10,300 requests, which is 6,300 hours. On average, we will receive two calls a day with a suicide threat," said Paul Nayland, founder of Lifeline Ukraine.

"The most effective form of preventive work with veterans is psychoeducation. This has been proven by research all over the world. It is important for people to know about mental health, how stress and trauma affect the psyche. Thanks to this, people will be more attentive to their condition and the condition of their loved ones," said Sergey Bogdanov, director of the Center for mental health and psychosocial support at Naukma, answering questions from participants.

During the round table, they discussed the experience of cooperation between the Seth program and the Lifeline Ukraine charity organization to solve mental health problems among veterans and their families and ways to effectively provide psychological assistance to people in crisis. It is a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention in communities and active cooperation with public organizations that will ensure results in the future.

Round table organizers:

Center for mental health and psychosocial support of Naukma in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)project "Improving mental health services for victims of torture" (CETA project);

Lifeline Ukraine-national, professional, free hotline with suicide prevention and mental health support ATO/OOS veterans and their families;

Nikolaev City Council.

The round table can be viewed on Seth's YouTube channel: