“I feel fear in my soul. My fingers and hands begin to get cold,” says Vira, an elderly woman who fled the fighting in Ukraine’s Donetsk region and is now seeking shelter in Ivano-Frankivsk, in the southwest of the country.
“I’m worried about my relatives, who are still at home—my son who is still living where there is fighting. I don’t feel heartache, it's deep in my soul and it immediately brings me to tears. I can't describe how it is.”
“Many children we’ve seen who have experienced bomb blasts suffer from insomnia, bedwetting, and nightmares,” says Oksana Vykhivska, MSF mental health supervisor in Kyiv. “The elderly, who often find themselves alone after being separated from loved ones, are constantly anxious and break down into tears.”
Our teams have been providing mental health support in shelters for displaced people, at mobile clinics in remote villages, and in urban metro stations.
From mid-April to mid-May, MSF teams conducted more than 1,000 individual and group mental health sessions in Ukraine. We have observed that people suffer from intense fear, constant stress, persistent worry, hopelessness, and panic attacks.