The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) has established an international expert committee to assist the Association of Psychiatrists of Ukraine (UPA), the Association of Neurologists, Psychiatrists and Narcologists of Ukraine and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in dealing with grave problems arising in the provision of care for people with mental illness.
In addition to coping with the mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, psychiatric services have also faced a major reduction in resources provided to inpatient psychiatric care. As a result, many psychiatric services in the country have reported serious levels of under-financing leading to the closure of departments, dismissal of large numbers of personnel and discharge of patients.
These alarming developments prompted WPA to convene an international committee of experts from Austria, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands and the United States to assist its Ukraine colleagues. Led by President of the Georgian Psychiatric Association, Professor Eka Chkonia, from Tbilisi, Georgia, the team will work closely with the Ukrainian partners to develop a viable way out of the current crisis. The WPA has reached out to the Minister of Health with an offer of support and with an invitation to work together in solving the current crisis.
Author: Prof. Robert van Voren