Advertisement
VICE News

Treating PTSD in Ukraine: Hero’s Companion

With Ukraine’s ability to care for its veterans’ psychological trauma severely lacking, NGOs have stepped in to fill the treatment gap.

by VICE News
May 24 2016, 2:18pm

Ukraine was in many ways unprepared for the war against the Russian-backed separatists of the DNR in the country's east. Its army, after years of mismanagement and corruption, was left with just 6,000 combat-ready troops, and its hospitals had never had to deal with the kinds of horrific injuries sustained by both soldiers and civilians.

The embattled country was even less prepared to deal with the psychological aftermath of the conflict; Ukraine had not been at war since the '80s, when PTSD was only just beginning to be recognized as a disorder.

With state care for people suffering with psychological trauma severely lacking, it has been left to a number of different NGOs to fill in the gaps in treatment. Hero's Companion, a Canadian organization, trains service dogs to help Ukrainian veterans with their war trauma.

Watch "Shell-Shocked: Ukraine's Trauma"

Watch "Ukraine's Foreign Fighters Battle for Citizenship"

Watch "The Struggle to Find Ukraine's Missing Soldiers"

Read "When War Becomes Routine: A Week with Ukraine's Weary-Eyed Soldiers"