Japan and UNDP bolster mental health and social support for war-affected police officers and families in Ukraine

June 13, 2024
Photo: Danylo Pavlov / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 13 June 2024 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, in partnership with the National Police of Ukraine and funding from the Government of Japan, has delivered two crucial training sessions to provide essential psychological and social support to police officers affected by the ongoing war and their families.

The first training session, held from 5-7 June 2024, focused on equipping National Police officers responsible for social support functions with the skills necessary to assist their colleagues and families, including veterans and people with disabilities. Topics covered included stress and trauma management, post-traumatic stress disorder, effective communication with affected individuals, primary psychological assistance, and methods for self-help and preventing vicarious trauma.

The second training session, held from 11-13 June 2024, targeted police psychologists, enhancing their ability to support war-affected personnel and their families. This comprehensive training included modules on managing panic attacks, coping with aggression, handling loss and grief, preventing burnout, and self-regulation techniques. 

The opening ceremony of the second training session was attended by Christophoros Politis, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Ukraine, and Serhii Kobets, Deputy Head of the National Police of Ukraine, who handed over 60 work kits to the police psychologists. These kits included practical exercise manuals for coping with stress in emergencies and tools for providing psychological relief and stress management for affected children and adults.

Christophoros Politis said that the significance of these training sessions could not be overstated. “Police officers, often the first point of contact for survivors or witnesses of atrocities of the war, face significant stress and trauma, he said. “Providing them with effective psychological support methods is essential to enhance their resilience and capability to perform their duties under these challenging conditions. By equipping police officers with the necessary skills and tools, these training sessions help ensure the safety and well-being of the officers themselves and the communities they protect.”

Serhii Kobets also emphasized the importance of the training and support provided to the National Police officers. “The resilience and mental well-being of our officers are paramount,” Kobets said. These training sessions are integral in equipping them with the necessary skills to handle the psychological impacts of the ongoing war.”

Media Enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; email: yuliia.samus@undp.org