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May 17, 2022
Foreign News

Group Gives Mental Health First Aid To Ukrainian Volunteers

A group of women have travelled to Poland to give mental health first aid to volunteers helping Ukrainian refugees.

Rachel Young, a psychotherapist and counsellor, from Riseley, Bedfordshire, said it was to help those deal with trauma they were seeing and hearing.

They volunteered on behalf of the Cambridgeshire-based organisation, Ollie and his Super Powers.

Ali Dawes Knowles, from the group, said she had “never seen so much trauma”.

The volunteers are on their knees working 24/7, so we were giving them psychological support to them and the refugees as well.

“There is a huge amount of trauma they are going to hear about.”

She was there as a coach and a therapist.

“It was to give people we saw the tools to be able to manage their emotional wellbeing and the refugees’ emotional wellbeing,” she added.

“When something like this happens you feel powerless but if I was able to just do something, even if it was a drop in the ocean, hopefully it will make some difference.”

Ms Dawes Knowles, from Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire, who started Ollie and his Super Powers, said: “We can’t heal the world but for this one centre of many [we’ll] make sure those volunteers have some mental health first aid for themselves so they don’t collapse and we can also put a team out there to provide a clinic to deal with the deeper trauma.

“I’ve never seen so much horror and trauma, we’re not walking away.

“I’m now looking at what we can do, not what we can’t.”

The group said they would continue to offer online support, and would return as soon as possible, when their funds allowed.


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