In February 2023, a reporting press conference of the NGO "Community Self-Help" was held on the results of the 10-month response to the war against Ukraine: achievements, crisis interventions and building a network of international trust and support.
Marta Pyvovarenko - Quality Assurance Expert for MHPSS services NGO Community Self-Help, mental health specialist, a - national trainer, and a supervisor mhGAP-HIG by WHO:
"We have implemented 24 projects during 10 months of work. These include not only physical help or financing, but also psychosocial and legal help, e.g. for people who have been tortured or have relatives went missing. We have a hotline for such cases which can inform people on what should and should not be done in order not to let those captured suffer more.
All our project have psychological or medical component and are evidence-based: we collaborate with universities and use WHO protocols, have a lot of international volunteers who come for a while in Ukraine.
We are not a big foundation like Come back alive which can operate millions but Ukrainians, smaller Ukrainian NGOs are like bees: one can kill, stop some of them, but not all of them. There is no situation as one can stop some big foundation like Pritula Foundation and Ukraine would stop: smaller NGOs would work as network and continue this work.
Russia cannot break one website or agency and make Ukraine give up.
One of the main challenges of our NGO work in 2022 was logistics since we all are professionals in psychosocial or related spheres and have never dealt with supplying medicine. It seems in this year every Ukrainian has achieved some skills that have never been available before in terms of survival, e.g. how to use a tourniquet or how to help a child to cope with panics. This increases our stress resistance. The war with russia lasts more than 100 years and will go on in some form of dominance even outside the active phase. Our resistance consists of readiness to any attack, any long-term defensive process. The psychological resilience is very important.
In this year together with a colleague from (1) Howard University we are planning a project on supervision of psychosocial help and help to professionals in order to prevent burn-out; (2) with Yale School of Medicine - the project on preparation of the family psychotherapists".