Refugees from Ukraine will be able to see a psychologist from their home country

Refugees from Ukraine will be able to see a psychologist from their home country

Refugees from Ukraine who fled to the Netherlands because of the conflict in their country and who are uncertain about their future may be experiencing psychological or psychosocial problems. Soon they will be able to get support in their own language from Ukrainian psychologists who fled the war as well. The Dutch cabinet appointed two parties to organize this: the alliance Empatia and LOOP (Ukranian displaced persons psychosocial support).

Empatia is an alliance between the Dutch Council for Refugees, the OPORA Foundation and PsyGlobal. They assist psychologists in the process of diploma valuation by the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) and then link them to a suitable workplace and to Ukrainians with a request for care. LOOP is the information, referral and advice center for professionals and parties working with refugees from Ukraine (for example government bodies and care providers). They can address any questions on psychosocial care to LOOP.

Assistant secretary Eric van der Burg: “I am very happy that Ukranian psychologists are now able to work in the Netherlands. On the one hand, they are able to help their fellow countrymen and women in their own language with psychological and psychosocial problems. On the other hand, Ukranian psychologists can continue to develop themselves and use the knowledge and experience gained here once they return to Ukraine.”

More accessible mental health care

It is a major advantage of the deployment of Ukranian psychologists that mental health care will be more accessible for those who need it. Symptoms getting worse may thus be prevented. The psychologists can do a job they have been trained for and are experienced in. Subject to the valuation of their diploma, they can start work as a junior psychologist in curative care or as a professional in preventive care for a municipality, municipal health service (GGD) location or a social organization. They relieve shortages at the Dutch labor market in this way.

Participation and self-reliance

It looks like the conflict in Ukraine is going to last for some time and refugees will stay here longer. That is why the Dutch Cabinet is aiming at their participation and self-reliance more and more. Finding a job that matches their level of training fits in with this. Ukranian psychologists are the first professional group that will be deployed in this way for people with the same cultural background. The first Ukranian psychologists are expected to start working during the course of 2023.

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