UN Population Fund and Ukraine unveil online chat for psychological support for men
War is constant stress. It builds up and eats away from within. Instances where Ukrainians can't cope with the consequences of stress on their own are increasing. Timely resolution of issues and overcoming psychological tension become vital.
What's the problem?
"In Ukraine, men often live with the idea that they should solve their problems independently. Because of this, they don't seek professional help," says Aliona Zubchenko, program manager at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ukraine. "According to the results of our survey among men, conducted in the summer of 2022, 90% of respondents had no experience of seeking professional psychological support in any form. At the same time, almost every third Ukrainian is in a state of significant distress, where a person cannot adapt to stressful situations and their consequences."
What's the solution?
In addition to the psychological support hotline 2345, created specifically for men, an online chat for psychological support has been launched in Ukraine. By messaging on Telegram, Viber, or the support line's website, men can now receive help from professional psychologists in a text format.
The project "Psychological Support Line for Men" is implemented by UNFPA and the NGO "Innovative Social Solutions" with financial support from the UK government.
How does it work?
Online chat support aims to help men stabilize their emotional state, find internal resources to deal with complex situations and understand problematic aspects of behavior.
Qualified psychologists with extensive experience operate the 24/7 chat. Men can freely and anonymously discuss their problems or seek advice in a text format.
Each man can contact the chat for consultation once a day, with a consultation lasting up to 90 minutes. Men can write to the chat on Telegram, Viber, or the support line's website for any stress-related questions, such as relationship or work issues, war-related concerns, or emotional difficulties.
"The Psychological Support Line for Men 2345 has been operating since October 13, 2022, and during this time, we have heard from our clients multiple times that they lack a space to share their thoughts and experiences, where they can get support and understand how to act in certain situations," says Uliana Myroshnychenko, coordinator of the Psychological Support Line for Men. "That's why, carefully listening to the needs of our clients, we have also created an online chat for psychological support for men. The chat does not replace the support line but expands the options and opportunities for men to receive psychological support."
According to Uliana Myroshnychenko, the idea of psychological support specifically for men has proven itself 100%. In a year of operation, the hotline has provided over 8,500 consultations.
Today, psychologists on the hotline receive requests related to:
- Anxiety disorders: fear, intrusive thoughts, panic attacks.
- Depressive states: low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, sleep disturbances, alcohol dependence.
- Family problems: conflicts with relatives.
- Loss of income and work.
Uliana Myroshnychenko adds that stress and traumatic events that are not addressed by specialists can trigger problems in the family, even leading to domestic violence. Therefore, it is crucial to take care of mental well-being in a timely manner.
Being heard and accepted
The experience of the hotline for men has shown that the service is not a whim but a necessity. Today, men need attentive treatment of themselves and their needs, support, and awareness of what is happening to them and how it can be changed.
"Currently, mental health is only beginning to be discussed and supported in Ukraine. It is easier for women to seek help, and there are quite a few services for women. As for men, it is more challenging for them to talk about themselves and their complex life circumstances. During the full-scale invasion, the number of stressful situations has increased. The need to be heard and accepted has grown," says Uliana Myroshnychenko.
Psychological support services exclusively for men are driven by the need for men to be heard and accepted unconditionally and with respect for their feelings, thoughts, experiences, and conditions.
"On the Psychological Support Line for Men in text and telephone counseling formats, every man will be heard out by our specialists. Psychologist consultants will listen, support, and ask questions that will help find solutions," says Uliana Myroshnychenko.
Results of the first weeks of the online chat of the Psychological Support Line for Men
The launch of the online chat coincided with International Men's Day, celebrated on November 19. In just one week of the online chat's operation, specialists received over 900 inquiries:
- From military personnel with psycho-emotional problems.
- From men facing conflicts and misunderstandings in families and relationships.
- From students experiencing problems in education and self-realization.
These are just the basic requests from men who have already turned to the Psychological Support Line.
Coordinator Uliana Myroshnychenko notes that each client's inquiry is processed based on the principles of an individual approach and maximum attention from mental health specialists, as each inquiry represents a personal and vulnerable life story of Ukrainian men in today's conditions.
Earlier, Rubryka reported that an online chat for psychological support for men was launched in Ukraine.
The suicide rate associated with the war is increasing in Ukraine. It takes away our loved ones, homes, and everything else we cherish.
Rubryka has compiled hotlines that can help you cope with emotional exhaustion and feelings that seem stronger than yourself. Read more in our article: "Where to turn if you don't want to live: hotlines for veterans, teenagers, and victims of violence."