The Sane Ukraine project trains trauma educators across Ukraine

SaneUkraine-Teaching volunteers
Teaching volunteers
Local leadership team
SaneUkraine-Trainee training with children
Teaching children
First training cohort

The story so far

Currently there are over 100 trainers who have been trained by Marks Waslh and Oksana Nakonechna. The trainers are working across the whole of Ukraine training ALL of the Ukrainian School Teachers (about 1000 people) and sections of the Ukrainian military as well as other influential groups.

The project is now locally lead, managed and funded although donations are still very much needed and happily received (see below to donate).

How we started

Like many of us I felt powerless watching the invasion of Ukraine, so I decided to do what I could. My mother and father-in-law and several psychologist colleagues become refugees, and many friends in Ukraine experienced attacks directly.

Rather than despair however, I teamed up with Ukrainian and international friends, and we created Sane Ukraine. We have been very successful and have much to do yet.

With a Polish friend, we delivered urgently-needed medical supplies to a children’s hospital in Lviv and then successfully delivered training trauma to 60 people. With local experts, I taught trauma educators/ first aiders to reduce the suffering of war. A local management team now coordinates the work ongoing and we raised funds to give trainers a modest salary .

Ukrainian Military training
Ukrainian Military training
"We can’t do everything, and of course Ukraine needs more too, but these trainers are making a real difference to thousands of people, reducing the suffering of war".
Mark Walsh, Sane Ukraine Founder
(with many years experience of training people in various areas of conflict)
“In a world where very few are thinking straight in these high winds of disaster and trauma, Mark and the Sane Ukraine project are actually walking the talk by going to Ukraine to help - that's as healing as it gets.”
Ruby Wax

What will we do next?

The next training in Lviv in May for 90 people, and we will do more later in the year. We are also mentoring local trainers to eventually take over the training.

To join a training session contact us.

What we do?

  1. We have trained 60 Ukrainian psychological resilience and trauma educators in Lviv, Ukraine who now work throughout the country
  2. We now employ two managers and 20 trainers, who work to teach people across Ukraine and with refugees abroad, to reduce some of the suffering of war
  3. We offer ongoing supervision, support and mentoring to the trainers.
Ukraine needs many things right now, and the tools to stay sane under extreme pressure are one of them. We will be working with local psychologists to provide an intensive pragmatic teachers course for people to pass on:
  • Trauma first aid
  • Practical psychological resilience tools
  • Trauma education to people of all kinds (we work with refugees, volunteers, children, military and more)
These skills do not make everything in a war “fine”, of course, but do reduce suffering and promote:
  • Psychological health under extreme conditions
  • Lasting Resilience
  • Clear decision making
  • Creative thinking under pressure
  • Compassionate action and, when appropriate dialogue

Are you also online?

Yes? We also give free daily online training and support for Ukrainians around the world though Sane Ukraine online. Run entirely by expert volunteers from Ukraine and twelve other countries this will continue until Ukraine is victorious and beyond if needed. Sane Ukraine Online

Watch this space for regular updates!

Assisted by a Polish volunteer, Piotr, we have delivered practical supplies (as requested by locals) to refugees in Lviv. These were the most useful medical and humanitarian supplies that we were able to source.

Delivery Of Supplies
Straight to Work with the New Meds

Funding Targets

Reaching the current $150,000 target will enable us to pay the training and management team for two more months, and will pay for the next training session in May

$300,000 will pay fifty trainers for half a year to continue the good work after the May training.
$600,000 will fund the project for the rest of the year.

A vision

We are making Lviv (as a major refugee centre) the most trauma aware city on the planet, and Ukraine the world’s most trauma aware country. This will dramatically reduce at least some of the suffering of war.

Ongoing benefit?

The trainers we employ are spreading vital knowledge. They will be more effective than foreign aid workers in this capacity, and help will many Ukrainians suffer less, and pass on less trauma to future generations.

Are you working with Ukrainians?

Yes. The training team includes four local therapists/psychologists who have welcomed the training as they are short-staffed. They are delighted in fact that we have already effectively doubled their capacity. They also advise on local cultural and practical matters.
We are also supported by international Ukrainian volunteers, local advisors and interpreters. A mix of some of the best people working there already, and people we know well and trust deeply.

Our Lead Trainers

Our Project Managers

Mark Walsh
Mark Walsh
Oksana Nakonechna
Eugenia Koroliova
Katerina Timakina

Quotes from our trainers

"Hello, my name is Anastasiya. I met a boy from Mariupol at the railway station, who, like a small wild beast with great distrust of the world, was watching from under his forehead, looking for danger, not letting anyone come to him ... that pain in his eyes I will remember forever!

Now I know how do not get confused, keep calm and be the safe place. I can stabilise his mother, who then stabilizes the child. I am empowered by the knowledge and experience gained in the project Sane Ukraine - Trauma education and resilience project !"
"When the war started, I was looking for the opportunity to fight. And I have found it with the project Sane Ukraine and Mark's training. Now I am armed with knowledge about psychological trauma and first aid, feel empowered to reduce suffering of our nation at least a bit. During our training, people often ask is it normal to have panic attacks, anger and shaking etc.

Ukrainians feel guilty about many things. But thanks to the training I know that the opposite of stress is play, not the relaxation. And I am are trying to bring play back to our lives. During war we struggle to understand what is going on with our body and psycho. I am happy to have some answers, to validate their emotions and states. And as well introduce to the ways out of trauma. To give them tools how to help themselves and people around."
Training in Krakow with refugee volunteers

For more information

Contact Mark Walsh

Press Release

March 2022

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