UNDP-backed psychological consultations bring respite, help assuage public anxieties

April 18, 2022


Due to the stress experienced during the tragic January events, many Kazakhstanis have needed psychological support. UNDP, within its comprehensive support programme for Kazakhstan during the crisis period, organized a service of free psychological assistance services to the public.

From 18 January to 31 March 2022, four professional psychologists, including members of the Association of Psychologists of Kazakhstan, conducted more than 300 individual consultations for members of the public.

Psychologists conducted diagnostic interviews with each individual making it possible to identify the problems that the patients confronted in their lives.

Photo: Kameda Public Fund
Photo: Kameda Public Fund

According to Roza Alimkhanova, one of the psychologists involved, most of the requests focused on the fear of losing a job and loved ones, an unstable environment, and worries about children’s future. “For one female patient, her emotional stress had reached its limit, since all the negative events impinged in a single day. Riots began in Almaty, on the same day she lost her mother. Moreover, she found out that her husband had betrayed her. Thus, she lost confidence in the future. She was afraid to be left without a livelihood and experienced emotional distress from the passing of a loved one and the betrayal of her husband. Many people have difficulty coping with such difficulties in life on their own and often need psychological support,” says Rosa. 

In total, Rosa Alimkhanova held consultations with 28 people – many returned.

“People learned about our initiative through word of mouth, and could not believe that such services were provided free of charge. They called from different cities, but most of the requests were from Almaty and Nur-Sultan. Psychological consultations helped them a lot, and they thanked the organizers. Many applicants had financial difficulties and would be unable to afford paid consultations”
Roza Alimkhanova, psychologist

Psychologists conducted diagnostic interviews with every individual, making it possible to identify the problems that the patients faced in their lives. “During consultations, I always have a clear goal – to help a people find internal resources so that he/she can cope on his/her own. Every individual has the skills to extricate themselves from difficult life situations. My task is to help him/her to discover these skills within themselves,” says Rosa.

Many of the patients applied repeatedly and received several consultations. Initially, the provision of psychological services to the public was planned for 10 February, but at the public’s request they continued until March 31.

Roza is sure that such initiatives are extremely useful and should be carried out periodically. “Even if we helped three people, this is in itself an achievement. But we helped not three, but dozens of people. They, in turn, will convey a positive attitude to other people. This is how the multiplier effect works,” the psychologist believes.

All psychological consultations were held taking into account the individual, his/her age and personality characteristics, as per the methodological recommendations of the professional activities of psychologists.