A new paediatric Mental Health Center has opened in Lviv, Ukraine, as part of the UNBROKEN KIDS project at the St. Nicholas Children’s Hospital.
The centre will offer free mental health treatment for children and teenagers affected by PTSD and war-related trauma.
Staffed by ten specialists, it will provide outpatient treatment, including group therapies and individual consultations, with services accessible through a referral from a family doctor.
The project addresses the enduring impact of war on young individuals, particularly those who have directly experienced conflict zones.
St. Nicholas Hospital director Ivan Myskiv said: “The number of children in need of help is increasing every day because the psychological consequences of war are distant in time.
“Children experience anxiety disorders, PTSD, depression, dissociative disorders, behavioural disorders, and are more prone to alcohol and drug abuse.
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“That’s why creating this Center is so important.
“More than two years into this Russian invasion, we realise that it’s not just surgical interventions or physical treatment needed, but psychological assistance for the youth of Ukraine as well.”
Support for the project came from various entities, including Intrivo, JustAnswer, EPAM, DataArt, N-iX, Avenga, Leobit, Romexsoft, Teamvoy, SiTime, Product Madness, Binariks, and funds such as On/go for\Good, Red Ventures, and Stronger Than Ever.
Stronger Than Ever and Red Ventures collaborated to fund the construction of the paediatric mental health centre.
The Lviv IT Cluster community funded the renovation costs, amounting to approximately UAH12.5m ($0.34m), covering aspects including water and sewage system changes and equipping the centre with specialised therapy equipment.
In this context, Red Ventures cited research that indicates a lasting impact of war on children, with heightened susceptibility to various disorders.
JustAnswer CEO Andy Kurtzig facilitated the collaboration between Stronger Than Ever, Red Ventures, and Lviv IT Cluster for this project through his company and non-profit organisation, the Arizae Foundation.
Kurtzig said: “As we near the two-year anniversary of the Russian invasion, and the world is faced with new acts of international terrorism and atrocities in the Middle East, it would be easy to get distracted and lose focus, but that would be a terrible mistake.
“Now is the time to increase support in every way possible – especially to the innocent children who have witnessed horrors that no one should ever see, and still live in constant fear and uncertainty.
“We cannot stand by and watch as a generation of young Ukrainians suffers from the effects of violence and fear.”