Resilience Centres set up to support families in the Kharkiv region

20 March 2024
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UNICEF

Families living in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region will be able to access critical mental health support at two ‘Resilience Centres’ opened by the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Policy, the Mental Health Coordination Center and with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as part of efforts to address the profound challenges that over two years of war has imposed on communities.

The centres, located in Valkivska and Kegychivska, form a crucial part of Ukraine's national mental health programme "How are you?", initiated by First Lady Olena Zelenska.

Their main goal is to support children and their families, working to prevent separations, reduce gender-based violence and enhance caregiver awareness in child upbringing. Additionally, the centres offer various social services and a platform for community members to connect through events, initiatives and learning sessions. The aim is to create an environment where everyone feels supported and is part of the community.

"The family-centred Resilience model lies at the core of the centres we have opened today,” says Veera Mendonca, UNICEF Deputy Representative to Ukraine. “By providing both resilience building and additional social services like consultation, crisis intervention and day care, the centres serve as a platform for integrated service provision. Through this holistic approach to family support, UNICEF contributes to the nationwide effort to prevent family separation and ensure better care for every child.”

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UNICEF

The Resilience Centres will primarily provide psychosocial support, including both group and individual counselling, alongside services for positive parenting, crisis intervention and conflict resolution. Additionally, the centres will offer services tailored to each community's needs, such as day care for children with disabilities, early childhood intervention, domestic violence prevention and response programmes, and support for veterans.

"After visiting the new resilience centres, we can confidently say that they have taken into account absolutely all the social needs of the community,” says Ulyana Tokaryeva, Deputy Minister of Social Policy. “Without support, it is difficult for any community to move forward. I am grateful for the synergy of UNICEF and the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, which have successfully implemented the resilience centre project in two communities. The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine will definitely continue to support all initiatives and facilitate this in every possible way.”

Each centre is no less than 150 square metres and designed for accessibility, ensuring a welcoming and comfortable environment for all children and families. The spaces are conducive for both individual and group-oriented services.

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UNICEF

“Resilience Centres are barrier-free platforms that will provide various social services,” says Oleg Synegubov, Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration. “Centres can be accessed by families of military personnel, prisoners of war, the missing, families of deceased soldiers, displaced people, people with disabilities or families raising children with disabilities, and anyone in need of psychological assistance, support or those facing difficult life circumstances. Additionally, each community can independently develop a range of additional services.”

"Mental health services should be where people live,” says Oksana Zbitneva, Head of the Coordination Center for Mental Health of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. “Resilience centres should become spaces for healing and restoring people. I am very pleased that we are now witnessing the emergence of services in a new modern format. Only such an approach can protect Ukrainians from having the traumatic experience of war lead to serious consequences for both mental and physical health.”

The centres in the Kharkiv region are developed and will be operated with the financial backing of the German Government's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the KfW Development Bank.
 

Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Ukraine

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