On November 14th-25th, 2016, we launched the first stage of the Canadian post-military rehabilitation program for veterans of war in Kyiv, at the Institute of Postgraduate Education at the National Taras Shevchenko University
According to statistics from the Research Centre for Humanitarian Problems of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, more than 80% of the soldiers who have participated in battles on the Eastern front of Ukraine have become afflicted with stress traumas of various degrees. This means that over the next few years, we can predict that about 150,000 Ukrainian soldiers will need help from specialized adaptation support services. At least one-third of this support will be vital these individuals survival.
The purpose of the first stage of this program was twofold:
1. To provide pre-selected specialists with the theoretical skills that will help them in their work with veterans of the war;
2. To conduct recruitment for the second stage of the project. Personnel troops, chaplains, students of higher education institutions that plan to work with veterans in the future, and professional psychologists were among the 28 participants working with combatants in the first stage of this project.
The program was conducted by Daria Shevchuk, a Canadian Doctor of Psychology of Ukrainian origin and a trauma specialist with 30-years of experience, accredited by the Canadian Veterans Association. Daria knows the pain of war from her father’s experience, Ivan Shevchuk, a young doctor from Lviv, who survived the torture of captivity during the Second World War and spent four years behind the bars the concentration camp: Auschwitz. Pani Daria considers it a privilege to share her professional experience and to help Ukrainian veterans whose souls have been trampled by the war.
Dr. Shevchuk taught our participating Ukrainian psychologists seminars on basic theories of psychotrauma, methods of complex treatment of psychotrauma (PTSD-u, Complex PTSD-u, Developmental traumas, anxiety disorder, etc.), methods of conducting effective psycho-education, familiarized the participants with DPO-m (desensitization of eye movement processing ), and provided information on the effectiveness and side effects of pharmaceuticals used in Ukraine in the treatment of psycho-trauma, etc.