Psychosocial aid in Ukraine with support from Giro555

Addressing the impact of war on mental health

In the event of exceptional disasters, collaborating aid organisations in the Netherlands join forces under the name Giro555
ARQ offers high-level expertise training to Ukrainian psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers
Regarding issues like complex trauma, sexual violence, grief, domestic violence and self-care
Training is given in neighbouring countries such as Hungary and Poland and partly online

The war in Ukraine is having a severe impact on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of the population. ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre is working with Ukrainian mental health professionals to build their knowledge of how to address complex trauma to support the resilience of Ukrainian communities. We also provide staff support to improve their wellbeing and prevent burnout.

ARQ has been a global expert in psychotrauma for decades. Set up to help victims of World War II, we know better than anyone else how conflict disrupts people's lives and entire communities. The psychological effects of war often echo through generations. 

Mental health and psychosocial support are vital 

Supporting the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of communities in crisis is crucial to address immediate distress and prevent the long-term development of mental health and psychosocial disorder. While most people affected by violence will not develop long-term trauma symptoms, a small number will experience serious problems such as depression, sleep problems, aggression, substance use disorder, and PTSD. Early mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is also needed to increase communities' resilience to adversity, contributing to their long-term ability to rebuild the social fabric.

Psychological and psychosocial support efforts 

With aid from Giro555, ARQ International offers psychosocial support to local healthcare providers in Ukraine, including doctors and GPs, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and humanitarian aid workers. Our Ukrainian partners work primarily with internally displaced persons, survivors of sexual violence and families in armed conflict zones.

Psychological and psychosocial response efforts in Ukraine

How does ARQ supports Ukrainian mental health professionals?

  • Improving knowledge on psychotrauma
    Most professionals are highly experienced in their field but work in a war environment for the first time. Their clients are faced with acute and often complex stress symptoms. ARQ's clinical experts deliver training, workshops, and mentoring for Ukrainian mental health professionals to enhance their knowledge and build skills to address the consequences of psychotrauma, such as family systems interventions, case management, and art therapy. 

    Dmytro, a father of two daughters, recently started receiving art therapy. Read about his experiences and how therapy helps his family. 

  • Building on local capacity 
    Through a Training of Trainers model, ARQ equips Ukrainian mental health specialists with the tools to spread this new knowledge to their peers, building local capacity to respond to the effects of psychotrauma across twelve Oblasts. In the coming years, newly-trained professionals will lead community events for populations in need to reduce psychological distress and build resilience. 

  • Supporting caregivers
    Ukrainian caregivers are living through the same terrible war as well. They too worry about family members, have children who have fled, and regularly have to seek safety for themselves. They care for others day and night. The risk of them becoming overburdened and ignoring their needs is consequently high. 

    ARQ offers staff support consisting of psychoeducation in self care and stress management, as well as peer support conducted by experienced clinicians. Self care is often the last thing on their minds, but staying afloat in these stressful and challenging circumstances is essential. This is especially important in the long run. When it comes to rebuilding the country, the need for caregivers will be as high.

    Ukrainian psychologist Darina works for an Early Intervention Centre in Odessa. Darina and her colleagues met once a week with ARQ's clinical experts to share experiences. Read about her experiences and the impact of the war on her work. 
Darina met een aantal van haar collega’s

Would you like more information on this project?

ARQ International is a technical expertise partner. Would you like to know more about our work in Ukraine or in other regions like the Middle East and East and West Africa? Please feel free to contact us to explore the possibilities for new collaborations. Send an email to, and we will respond as soon as possible.

Support is still very welcome

The conflict in Ukraine continues. Psychosocial support is also needed in the long run. Please get in touch with us by mail if you would like to support our work financially. 



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Ukraine and neighbouring countries

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Project manager

Megan Bahmad