The Professor Virginia I. Douglas Centre for Clinical Psychology at the Department of Psychology, McGill University, in collaboration with the Mental Health Tasks Force at the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Montreal and the Montreal Branch of the Ukrainian National Federation, is a volunteer-based initiative to provide free-of-charge professional mental health support to the growing number of Ukrainian refugees in Quebec through a specially trained cohort of mental health professionals.

We have established a team of approximately 95 volunteer mental health professionals and 98 graduate students who will begin offering services at the end of September. The services will be provided through interpreters (we currently have 50 volunteer interpreters). There are already 105 Ukrainian refugees receiving services, which includes individual, group and family therapy. During September, all of our volunteer professionals undergone a comprehensive 30-hour training program to help them provide culturally sensitive trauma-informed evidence-based services to adult and child victims of trauma.

To supplement the therapy component of the program and to sustain the therapeutic gains of individual and family therapy, the following support and psychoeducational groups and activities are offered to Ukrainian refugees:

  • Support group for interpreters to counter the effects of vicarious traumatization
  • Peer supervision for mental health professionals and graduate students, to assist with cultural and therapeutic challenges of work with Ukrainian refugees
  • Support groups for Ukrainian refugees, including:
    • Creative Arts Therapies for children and their families
    • Trauma-informed authentic movement and mindfulness group
    • Trauma-informed yoga
    • Tai-Chi
    • Support group for children and parents to adopt to Montreal school system

If you know of someone who could benefit from these services, or who would be interested in donating their time (e.g., as mental health workers or interpreters), please share with them this information. We are still short on volunteer interpreters, so we continue the fundraising efforts, that will mostly cover the costs for interpreters and facilitators.

More details can be found on the Professor Virginia I. Douglas Centre for Clinical Psychology website, in the McGill Report, and on CBC Listen.

Thank you truly,
The Ukrainian Aid Initiative

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