Ukraine Mental Health Project (UMHP) InterFamily Clinic

In a few days, it will be two years since the beginning of Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine. The last holiday days of 2023 and the first days of 2024 have been overshadowed by Russia’s brutal attacks on Ukrainian cities that caused death and destruction to peaceful civilians, and have resulted in an increased number of victims of the war and potential IDPs.

According to the State Statistics of Ukraine, in February 2022, there were more than 41.1 million people living in Ukraine, excluding the Crimea. More than 16.3 million Ukrainian refugees have been forced to flee Ukraine and about 8 million more Ukrainians have become internally displaced persons (IDPs). In the middle of 2023, including military and civilian casualties the resident population of Ukraine has dropped to 25 million. Unfortunately, the casualties of the war will reduce mostly the reproductive part of Ukraine that will accordingly cause demographic collapse in the after-war country.

Here at the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic we have to preserve lives and health of those who will restore Ukraine including IDPs and the citizens of Uzhhorod. This is our front line. 

The war in Ukraine caused massive mental disorders among the population of the country. It includes those who fled the “hottest” regions and those who live in the safest areas due to the IDPs and wounded soldiers and, daily aid raids. 

For two years the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic has been providing free medicine and medical service to the IDPs of Uzhhorod but it was discovered that the number of specialists treating mental disorders lacks behind what is needed and Ukrainian GPs have become the focus of the state’s attention. To overcome a gap in mental health treatment the Ministry of Health of Ukraine has introduced a course "Management of common mental disorders at the primary level of medical care using the mhGAP Guidelines”.

Having two years’ experience in providing medical service to IDPs of Uzhhorod and some trained staff the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic has launched UKRAINE MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT (UMHP)

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has issued a manual for a short online mental health disorders education. After 30 hours of studies the participants get a Certificate. 

Unfortunately, the experts of the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic who took part in this online education have found out that these courses do not secure practical skills. The administration of the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic sent 3 of its GPs for offline studies to get practical skills and later to become trainers for other GPs first at the Clinic and later at other medical institutions of Uzhhorod and Transarpathean region.

The goal of the project is to teach all GPs of the clinic the basic skills of mhGAP Screening management and to provide evidence based mental health service 

1.At the first stage of the project the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic has initiated its own KNOW -HOW introducing the screening test to detect depression basing on psychosomatic complaints for 100% of patients. Having detected depression, our GPs used to initiate treatment, and in more complicated cases, sent the patient to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist from an institution “PROLISOK”, whose specialists started free behavior cognitive psychotherapy. This was a short treatment course, where a patient was taught how to handle stress, and regain some productivity in their lives.  Unfortunately, by the end of 2023, “PROLISOK” has stopped receiving financing from UNICEF, and now the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic psychological care is no longer available to the patients of “INTERFAMILY” and a need to employ a psychotherapist, or psychologist in collaboration with “SOS” charity foundation becomes urgent. The treatment course consists of 5-10 sessions and the cost of 1 session is 1,000 hryvnias ($27.00).  

2 At the second stage the goal is to teach all GPs of the clinic the basic skills of the mhGAP Screening management. The idea is once a month to provide practical seminars with case studies. If this pilot stage is successful, the clinic will be able to disseminate its experience among other clinics in Uzhgorod and Transcarpathea. We have about 600 GPs in the Thranscarpathean area and plan to have training of FDs in small groups.


3.At the third stage using PR campaign it is planned to attract IDPs to be treated by the trained GPs of the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic in two directions:

  1. After providing screening we are planning to use free antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs provided by international donors and the Ukrainian state to patients with moderate mental disorders 

  2. Using psychotherapy methods for patients with anxiety and depression. The clinic is working on the Open Label Placebo research to treat moderate psychosomatic which are mental disorders of neurotic origin, when no objective organic cause can be identified. Such treatment aims to lower the burden of the extra post-negative effects on health and in cases when the cost of medicine is too high for a patient. It is provided only with the patient’s consent and within the norms of ethics. Antidepressants can be used a month after open-labeled Placebo was proscribed.  

The proposed by the “INTERFAMILY” Clinic UKRAINE MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT (UMHP) might help to solve problems regarding mental health care provision in Uzhgorod and Transcarpathean region if additional funding can be secured.      

A number of our donors is constantly growing. Recently we have got the first contribution into our new UKRAINE MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT (UMHP). 

We are grateful to all our good friends and donors who keep on supporting us and remind the account for donations in EURO 


Bank Address: 4800 Vasarosnameny, Szabadsag square 33.

Address of Recipient: 90202 BEREGOVE B.HMELNICKIY STR. 10/A UKRAINE

IBAN: HU63 1177 5441 2884 8886 0000 0000


Phone number: +380955772240

Purpose: Refugees in Uzhgorod, Pavlo Kolesnyk