Announcing new project in Ukraine: A mobile mental health clinic in Kharkiv

Friday, February 23, 2024


This new project is part of SOS Children’s Villages’ larger emergency response in Ukraine, which is currently implemented in 17 regions nationwide. This two-year project launches on April 1, 2024, and will focus on improving the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Ukrainians, especially children, affected by the war in Kharkiv Region. 


Project activities will be delivered through a mobile mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) unit comprising three locally hired psychologists and a social worker. They will move around the Kharkiv region in a minivan and will be uniquely equipped to provide front-line mental health care in communities without access to mental health services. 




As a result of the Russian invasion, the mental health needs of Ukrainians have increased drastically, with families in eastern regions being especially vulnerable, having faced prolonged exposure to difficult living conditions under occupation and active combat, often living in cramped shelters without electricity, food, and hygiene facilities as well as little to no access to information.  


Children have been forced to leave their homes, been subjected to physical, sexual and emotional violence by armed forces, and many have been separated from their parents. They are most affected by the closure and destruction of their schools, the loss of friendships, and the lack of safe spaces to play and interact with peers.  


Children who do not have access to mental health and psychosocial support risk devastating long-term consequences impacting not only their emotional health but also their physical health and social development as they grow up. 


Providing mental health support in hard-to-reach communities


The MHPSS unit will lead group and individual sessions with children and adults to equip them with the skills they need to be resilient and overcome trauma. SOS staff will focus on children and adults exposed to traumatic events caused by military aggression. This includes individuals who have been displaced, live in de-occupied territories, have recently returned home and have been injured by the war.  


Beneficiaries needing additional support will be referred to local partners and other SOS Children’s Villages Ukraine projects in the area.  


To complement the services provided, locally procured essential materials, such as emergency food packages, hygiene kits, essential medicine, kitchen items, and vitamins, will be distributed to extremely vulnerable families according to their urgent needs.


Another goal of this project is to strengthen the capacity of the local community to better support children and families in need of mental health and psychosocial support in the area. Capacity-building training will be provided to mental health professionals, schoolteachers, social workers, pedagogues, volunteers and staff from community-based organizations. 


We thank the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and the Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation for their generous support.

Canadians wishing to help vulnerable children are encouraged to sponsor a child, sponsor an SOS Village or make a one-time donation. Your support will change the lives of orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. Please help today.