Psychological support line will help Ukrainian refugees in Czechia heal

Sluchatko (Receiver) is a new helpline providing psychological support in Ukrainian and Russian for Ukrainian refugees.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 12.04.2022 15:57:00 (updated on 12.04.2022) Reading time: 1 minute

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, around 300,000 refugees have fled Ukraine to the Czech Republic. 

Although several million may have reached the physical safety of European countries, many are in acute need of treatment for mental health disorders.

A psychotherapeutic line was established by the Czech Association for Psychotherapy during the first wave of Covid-19 in spring 2020, involving 200 therapists and receiving some 800 calls in 49 days.

The experts then decided to further operate the line, and it helped 354 clients last year. Thanks to the support from the People in Need and Energy to Doctors organizations, it has newly extended its operation also to serve refugees from Ukraine.

While the call is a paid service, the therapy itself is free. The line is available on 212 812 540 every day from 9:00 to 18:00.

Psychologists and therapists from Ukraine have already started working on the line.

Refugees often have problems adapting to the new reality, and some suffer from traumas from the past. 

Some even feel guilty because they are safe in Czechia, while their husbands, relatives, and friends are fighting or hunkering down in bomb shelters.

While many fear for the future, some also face troubles in relation to fellow refugees, said the line's operation chief Marie Malinova.

In addition, the Interior Ministry website has a section on accessing mental health and hotline support in Ukrainian.

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Prague Integration is also offering donation-based mental-health support with a Ukrainian-speaking counselor on weekends throughout April. Additional help can also be found on the National Institute of Mental Health's website.

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