Promoting the mental health and psychosocial well-being of refugee children and their caregivers through lay professionals amidst Ukraine's displacement crisis.
Children and families fleeing Ukraine have endured traumatic events due to conflict and displacement which could lead to severe mental health issues if they are not addressed timely. At the same time, Mental Health professionals are a scarce resource. Through the WELL-U project, we address this need by sharing community-based methodologies of Mental Health and Psychosocial (MHPSS) support. We put communities first in the promotion of mental health and psychosocial well-being of refugee children and their caregivers. We do that by training non-MHPSS professionals, especially those immediately affected and at the same time, we create or enhance existing communities of practice.
1. Increase the capacity of non-MHPSS professionals to meet the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing needs of refugee children and their caregivers, especially of those displaced because of the Ukrainian conflict
2. Improve the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of refugee children and their caregivers, especially of those displaced because of the Ukrainian conflict, in Italy, Greece, Hungary and Romania
3. Increase the awareness, knowledge generation, sharing of best practices and capacity building opportunities of both health and lay professionals working with refugee children and their caregivers, especially those displaced because of the Ukrainian conflict, on how to improve their mental health and psychological wellbeing through universal and indicated preventative measures
4. Advocate for a public health approach to mental health to enhance the access of refugee populations, including those displaced because of the Ukrainian conflict, to appropriate mental health and psychosocial support
The WELL-U project is coordinated by SOS Children’s Villages Italy and in collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages International, Terre des hommes (Tdh) Hellas, Tdh Romania, Tdh Hungary and War Child Holland.
Problem Management Plus (PM+), a brief, low- intensity, transdiagnostic, psychological intervention developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), targeted to adults (aged 16+) impaired by distress in communities who are exposed to adversity. During PM+ session beneficiaries learn how to manage practical problems, reduce stress and anxiety, improve their mood, and strengthen their social support through evidence-based techniques. The PM+ strategy has been extensively tested through rigorous scientific studies and implemented across diverse cultural contexts.Learn more about our expertise on PM+ here
ReachNow, a proactive case identification tool designed to facilitate the identification of children aged 6 to 18 in need of mental healthcare or with protection needs and encourage help-seeking. ReachNow is made up of illustrated case stories depicting culturally relevant examples of childhood psychological distress and family-related problems. The illustrations are paired with a simple decision diagram to allow trained community members to identify children and families in need of support and encourage them to seek for further support.
Movement, Games, Sports and Creativity (MGSC) is a methodology that uses sports, games and creativity as a psychosocial tool to ultimately develop the personal and social skills of vulnerable children, and therefore improve their resilience and psychosocial wellbeing.
TeamUp is a group movement-based intervention aimed at strengthening the emotional resilience of children. TeamUp comprises a variety of group movement-based games, sports-based activities, creative movement, and body awareness practices. These combined activities, support children when managing their feelings. Each activity has a specific goal related to themes such as dealing with anger, stress, and interacting with others. Its non-verbal modalities maximize inclusivity among children from diverse backgrounds. TeamUp has been developed and promoted by War Child Holland (WCH) in partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children.
In Greece, we will work with Ukrainian communities and the methodologies that will be applied are 3: Problem Management Plus (PM+), ReachNow, and Movement, Games, Sports and Creativity (MGSC).
For more information on the project implementation in Greece, please contact George Kanaris, Project Coordinator at email@example.com or Eleftheria Aravidou, MHPSS Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credits:©Tdh/Isabel Zbinden
The project will run for 2 years (2022-2024) and is co-funded by the European Commission (Health and Digital Executive Agency).