Wartime Psychiatry and Psychology: Croatian Education Progamme for Ukrainian Professionals

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Croatia assisting Ukrainian psychiatrists adn psychologists with educational conference in Zagreb.

Utlising know-how gained through its own painful experience of conflict in recent history, Croatia will host an educational programme in Zagreb for Ukrainian psychologists and psychiatrists entitled “Wartime Psychiatry and Psychology”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced via press release on its website on October 19, 2015. The conference will start on October 23. Announing the programme, Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said:

“We are utilizing the know-how we have acquired the hard way, but we are glad Croatia can help.”

The press conference in full:

Croatia has been cooperating with Ukraine on development since 2009, but since the breakout of crisis in the country we have joined in providing humanitarian aid and development cooperation in areas such as psychosocial rehabilitation of more than 530 Ukrainian children from war-torn parts of the country, rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, transfer of experience and know-how in managing refugees and displaced persons gained during the Homeland War, as well as transfer of know-how on documenting war crimes.

This project represents the continuation of said activities, this time in the field of wartime psychiatry and psychology aimed at preventing PTSD. “We believe in cooperation and exchange of experiences at the level of state institutions and NGOs, as such an effort is necessary to link all the key points,” Pusić said, adding that Croatia had a lot of experience in post-war recovery, as well as the awareness that all societies lose in the war and that it takes them a long time to recover.

We are certain, Pusić said, that this cooperation will benefit both sides and make it possible for people to go on with their lives. Health Minister Siniša Varga, thanking Pusić for co-organizing the project, underscored that Croatia was in the midst of a migration crisis and was offering refugees and migrants psychosocial help, systematically showing sensitivity to such issues. After both ministers expressed hope that the Ukrainian conflict would end soon and the keynote address by Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Levčenko, the five-day program was launched.


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