How to support volunteers and staff of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society?

How to support volunteers and staff of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society?

Every day, volunteers and staff of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) work in difficult circumstances. They help people who are going through crisis events, support and listen to them. Therefore, over time, some volunteers and staff members may find themselves under stress or experiencing psychological discomfort, which is why they also need support.

Protecting the mental health and psychosocial well-being of the entire URCS team is a fundamental principle, as stated in the Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs Policy of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (2019). And gaining knowledge about the mechanisms of taking care of their own emotional health by the team is one of the main areas of psychosocial support at the URCS. This area was created in accordance with the Regulation on Psychosocial Support in the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (2021).

We care about the health of Red Cross staff and volunteers for the sake of their own safety and well-being, and by doing so, we guarantee the quality of services provided to those in need.

The implemented system of support for URCS staff and volunteers includes:

  • undergoing of next trainings and online sessions by volunteers: “Psychosocial Support in Emergency Situations”, “Psychological First Aid”, “How to provide Psychological First Aid to People with Mental and Neurological Disorders”. These trainings and online sessions raise awareness of crisis events, stress, health risks, protective factors, and ways to help those in need;
  • conducting of meetings with staff and volunteers to discuss how to support the teams in their region;
  • training coordinators and volunteer leaders in organizing, planning, and conducting volunteer meetings. The main goal of the meetings is to provide support to teams in the regions on a peer-to-peer basis;
  • dissemination of methodological materials containing information on taking care of yourself and your colleagues;
  • informing about self-help methods for dealing with stress, difficult thoughts and feelings;
  • providing access to specialized mental health services: the opportunity to receive free psychological counseling in an emergency;
  • cooperation with the Volunteer Development Sector and other departments to receive, analyze and respond quickly to the team’s requests in order to take care of the volunteers and staff of the URCS;

  • creating and distributing videos (informational videos) on how to take care of your own emotional and physical health.

The work of URCS volunteers and staff is precious!

That is why the Department of Psychosocial Support develops and conducts trainings, meetings and disseminates informational materials to improve the support of volunteers and staff of the URCS throughout the country.