Ukraine and the United Kingdom will cooperate in the field of mental health. This was discussed during a round table dedicated to the UK experience in development of a mental health care system. The online event was attended by Ukrainian experts working on development of the National Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Program initiated by First Lady Olena Zelenska. The event was a follow-up to the discussion between First Lady of Ukraine and Princess Catherine of Wales.
British experts spoke about their successful experience in the field of mental health: the Time to Change anti-stigma program and the Place to Be mental health counseling teams in schools.
The Time to Change program has been running for 20 years. During this period, the level of stigmatization of mental health problems decreased by 27%. At the same time, the number of children and young people seeking mental health services has increased. Based on this experience and the results of studies by British colleagues, Ukrainian experts will work on developing an anti-stigma program for Ukraine.
The Place to Be mental health teams in schools promote positive attitudes towards mental health and well-being, working with children, parents and teachers. As part of the program, Time to Talk spaces for short-term counseling have been created in schools. They provide 15-minute brief counseling sessions for children with a focus on resilience and early intervention. This experience is very useful for Ukraine in the process of implementing mental health services in school and preschool environments.
Besides, the participants addressed the UK experience of working with veterans and active military personnel as well as counseling services to Ukrainians at West Sussex Mind.
The Ministry of Health expresses gratitude to the Embassy of Ukraine in the United Kingdom as well as to British colleagues for their willingness to help and share their experience.