PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID IN TIMES OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN UKRAINE
A pandemic is not only a challenge to physical but also for mental health. Currently, the Covid-19 virus triggers fear, constraints and uncertainty worldwide. The Mental Health for Ukraine (MH4U) project implemented by GFA since October 2019 on behalf of the Swiss Development Cooperation has responded to this situation by developing resources for Ukrainian citizens and health professionals that help them better cope with the psychological stress caused by the pandemic. Posts on the MH4U Facebook page (@MH4Ukraine) provide practical advice how to deal with the quarantine situation and reach up to 65,000 people. GFA consultants translate and distribute international guidelines and develop online courses and webinars about psychological support and burnout prevention for health staff at primary and long-term care institutions. For those who need a sympathetic ear during these stressful times, project staff is supporting and promoting a telephone helpline by means of which trained psychologists provide psychological first aid.