Funding: 92 361 EUR
Principal investigator: Merike Sisask
Funder: European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), EU4Health projects to provide mental health support to Ukrainian refugees
Institution: Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute
The 2022 Ukrainian crisis has forced millions of people to flee their homes to neighbouring European countries. Refugees experience an increased prevalence of disorders such as depression, disabling anxiety and psychosis, due to psychological and social stresses. On fleeing, treatment is disrupted and the risk of their disorder deteriorating and relapses, increases. National healthcare systems lack resources to diagnose and treat mental health; the sudden influx of displaced people worsens this existing capacity challenge – exacerbated by language and cultural barriers when treating displaced persons. The MESUR project will address this treatment gap by facilitating treatment options for displaced persons with depression. It will do this by: 1) Providing immediate mental health support by implementing the digital, evidence-based intervention iFightDepression® suite (translated into Ukrainian and Russian) in six implementation countries (Poland, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, and Estonia); 2) this will alleviate pressure on the national healthcare systems and actors involved in the refugee crisis in the six implementation countries; 3) it will generate knowledge by training health professionals, including displaced Ukrainian mental health professionals about depression, PTSD, and other prevalent mental disorders amongst displaced perons; and 4) deliver a Best Practice Guideline and Implementation Toolkit to support further countries to implement iFightDepression® to support refugee populations. MESUR is delivered by an inter-disciplinary consortium with expertise in mental health, migrant and refugee populations, community-based interventions and implementation science.