This was the place of knowledge of Nathalie Robelot-Timtchenko, a mental overall health professional specialising in expressive arts therapy centered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who lived in Kyiv from 2014 to 2021.
“When [the invasion] occurred, it was about 1am, I believe that, on the 24 February for us [in Cambridge], and it was stunning,” says Robelot-Timtchenko. “It was really hard to know how to assist, and what would in fact be impactful.”
Robelot-Timtchenko sent out a call-to-action on 25 February 2022, looking for mental wellness professionals who would be keen donate their time supplying help to folks in Ukraine. She identified as the initiative To start with Assist of the Soul from her base in Cambridge. “In a week we had all over 450 indication up,” she suggests, with volunteers dependent all in excess of world, several in the US and Canada, but also throughout Europe, to Japan and Australia.
Like the “Buddy. First Support” crew, a deficiency of methods on psychological initially assist was 1 of the very first matters that struck Robelot-Timtchenko.
“That was one of our to start with jobs, striving to make our self-assist kits,” suggests Robelot-Timtchenko. “We experienced pretty a significant workforce, possibly 20 gurus doing the job on just collecting diverse content.” For example, the workforce collated information and facts on how to soothe your kids when you might be in a stress filled ecosystem, these as a bomb shelter, with information about sustaining comforting bodily contact and applying basic terms and phrases to focus on the predicament and your thoughts.
By the 1st months of March 2022, Initial Help of the Soul commenced providing aid teams in a college Robelot-Timtchenko had labored in. “By April we had been featuring instruction open up to different psychological wellbeing pros in Ukraine.” One particular of their first focuses was psychological initial aid, followed by therapies involving movement and rest these as yoga, before moving into other spots.
Supplying in-human being assist has been a critical component of supporting Ukraine’s resilience. “Just recently we have been in Ukraine in January, I was ready to do a workshop with small children that have been displaced internally displaced in Ukraine,” claims Robelot-Timtchenko. “These little ones have been as a result of hell, to say the least, but they still have smiles on their faces. They are nevertheless chatting about their superhero lovers, and the workshop was about acquiring inner toughness and constructing resilience.
“That is what we are seeking to do, just have a little bit of hope,” she claims.