The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is acutely aware and deeply concerned about the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine. This evolving humanitarian crisis has already resulted in significant loss of life, breaches of human rights and unwarranted attacks on civilians. The mass evacuation of millions of native individuals from Ukraine to foreign lands in search of safety and shelter has added to previous global record levels of internally displaced individuals, refugees, and asylum seekers who have and continue to escape conflict zones elsewhere in the world. The impact on the mental and physical health of displaced individuals will be immense, and all possible efforts to support all displaced individuals, refugees and asylum seekers need to be prioritised.
Experiences of war lead to high exposure to trauma, stress, loss and social upheaval. Such trauma has the potential to impact across a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional experiences associated with suicidal behaviour. The consequences of a conflict such as this will be felt for many years to come and often the impact on mental health remains hidden. As a result, it is vital that not only during the acute phase but also in the longer-term, the mental wellbeing of displaced and trauma-exposed individuals is supported through the provision of targeted psychosocial care, interventions, and informed treatment responses.
Through our specific projects, partners and our national representatives in the region and neighbouring countries, IASP continues to explore all avenues to ensure the provision of support to those affected by the crisis. It is important to acknowledge that while the current conflict has been unjustly targeted at one specific nation, the fallout is extremely wide reaching and has impacted individuals across the world. On a human level, we must look out for one another. A number of valuable and verified mental health and trauma related resources are accessible online and listed below.
Resources to support those experiencing the traumatic situation in Ukraine