Citizens of Sloviansk Donetsk region remember the Spring and Summer 2014 very well: fights, occupation, curfew… Empty supermarkets, disactivated ABMs, marauding, suspended schools, nurseries, no electricity and no water… Fear, that citizens of this city faced, can hardly be described.
Taking into account the need of not only physical assistance but also psychological recovery for people who came through fears of war, last year in Sloviansk was opened and equipped a center of psychological recovery “Promyr”. This year our cooperation was extended. From February to April psychologists from the “Promyr” center had been providing free psychological help for adults and children as well as speech therapy.
During three months of the project realization, specialists provided 4361 hours of help, in particular: workshops; rhythm therapy; correctional groups (for children with special needs); lessons in the sensor room; individual consultations; individual lessons with speech therapist. In total, 562 adults and children received these or those services.
Many parents with their children came to the Center and shared how hiding in basements affected their children and themselves as well. “Children have many symptoms caused by the war. They deal with fears, see nightmares, face troubles in relationships, can show aggression or, to the contrary, get very closed and find it difficult to communicate, – says Tetiana Shulga, psychologist of the Center. – This is what these parents bring to psychologists. We always draw attention to the fact that adults need to have stability too. If adults are constantly stressed, if they have the highest level of anxiety then the child is affected by that and can hardly be happy, calm and confident.
We work a lot with both – children and adults, harmed by the war conflict in our region. We notice that the level of anxiety, fear and stability of a child is directly connected with how his/her parents and the nearest feel. Once a mother came to us and said: “Help my children, they sleep badly, they have strong fears and I don’t know how to normalize them…”. After the conversation with mother we find out that by her door there is always a go-bag and her children simply cannot feel stable as they are constantly “reading” their mother’s fear. We keep reminding that an adult is “pillar” for a child, a ground for stability.
Speaking about internally relocated people, they lost everything: their house, their stable picture of the world, they have no idea what to expect from the future and how to feed a baby. Responsibility for your own life and for the life of your family and, at the same time, the situation around you, is constantly changing. When adults come to us they never speak about sounds of shooting they heard from the basement. They simply ask: “What shall I do? How shall I live right?”… Friends are far, relatives are even further, all the communication over skype – all of these things can hardly give a ground to rely on. Such a usual kind of support is something many people fail to have nowadays. And here we are, in “Promyr”, at our meetings, restore this ground and confidence in them. We speak about resources and search for them together, search for strength to move on”.