Ukraine creates register of suicides among demobilized ATO veterans - Bohomolets
KYIV. Sept 19 (Interfax-Ukraine) – A register of suicides among servicemen and those demobilized from the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone has been created at the Ukrainian Research Institute of Social and Forensic Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ukrainian Health Ministry, the head of the parliamentary committee on health care, Olha Bohomolets, has said.
She said that the database currently contained over 100 questionnaires received from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.
"All the information is sent to the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry. The database already contains over 100 questionnaires, portraits of veterans who committed suicide. These are mostly people under the age of 30, and most of them committed suicide in a state of alcoholic intoxication, most of them with the help of firearms. Most of them did not have a job," she said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Monday, September 18.
Bohomolets noted that in order to reduce suicide statistics among ATO participants, it was extremely necessary to conduct psychological work with them not after they return from the front line, but also at the stage of signing a contract with them and the beginning of combat training. In her opinion, Ukraine should create not only a ministry for veterans, but also a network of veteran centers, where ATO participants can communicate and help each other.
"Then the level of suicides, divorces and alcoholism will significantly decrease, because only comrades can stop and help each other," she said.
Director of the Ukrainian Research Institute of Social and Forensic Psychiatry and Narcology, Iryna Pinchuk, in turn, noted that today one in three ATO soldiers received psychological help.
"According to statistics, in 2017, every third soldier received psychological help, but the number of suicides does not decrease. Therefore, we should turn the quantitative indicator into qualitative, and we should analyze psychological assistance programs," she said.
An international expert and founder of the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) direction, Frank Pucelik, noted that former servicemen with post-traumatic syndrome without proper assistance were dangerous for society and for themselves.
"We must do everything so that people with post-traumatic syndrome do not rock the country. The war deprives people of honor who have seen the values of life. A returning warrior becomes a star in his society only after psychologists help horror transform into a sense of honor and dignity," he said.