Supporting staff who are affected by the events in Ukraine and surrounding regions

Here for you

We know that this is a worrying time for colleagues who have loved ones in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries, our thoughts are with you and your families.

If you feel affected by what is happening, we are available to support you by providing a listening ear if you would just like someone to talk to, or by offering telephone assessments if you feel you need additional psychological support at this time.

If you would like to find out more about the support available to you, you can start a conversation with our team. 

  • Use our live chat in the footer to start speaking to one of our trained Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (available Monday to Thursday from 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-5pm). Chat works best on Google Chrome and from a mobile or tablet. It will not work on Internet Explorer 7 - If you are unable to use or see the chat button then please download and use Google Chrome
  • Email or call us Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. You can also request a call back at a convenient time. 

Other support is also available and you can check out a range of self-help materials and videos in our resources section.

It can goood to connect with others at difficult times, so why not head over to our Community Forum to chat to your peers about how you're feeling:

Helpful things to do

How can we help?

  • If you live in South East London, free, fast and confidential support is available to you through your local IAPT services. If you cannot access the service in South East London check your local services here.
  • You can find an array of self-help resources here.
  • See what other support we can offer here
  • Upcoming M4ALL Mindfulness sessions can be found here.
  • Access Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich MIND Counselling.

Support lines

  • Samaritans (24 hours, confidentially): 116 123 They have a dedicated number for healthcare staff 0800 069 6222 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week
  • Saneline (6pm to 11pm): 0845 767 8000
  • The Mix. If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.
  • Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email or text 07786 209 697.
  • 'Shout' crisis text line - text SHOUT to 85258
  • SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse. 
In an emergency
  • Call 999
  • Go to your local A&E department

How can I help?


Supporting our NHS People

Helping colleagues impacted by the current conflict in Ukraine.

  • Staff support lineoperated by the Samaritans free access from 7:00am – 11:00pm, Call: 0800 069 6222 or Text: FRONTLINE to 85258 for support 24/7 via text

  • Use our live chat in the footer to start speaking to one of our trained Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (available Monday to Thursday from 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-5pm).

1.      Trauma informed practice in humanitarian crisis training

Thrive LDN is partnering with Nicola Lester Psychological Trauma Consultancy to deliver training in trauma informed practice in humanitarian crisis. The free training webinars are aimed at professionals and volunteers in community and grassroots organisations who are supporting the response. The training has a central focus on trauma informed practice in the context of a humanitarian crisis. It also introduces trauma informed approaches which can be applied in a broader context to develop current practice across a range of areas including third-sector, health, social care, mental health and uniformed services.


The training programme offers workshops at three levels: foundation, intermediate and advanced. 

·        Foundation level: Trauma informed practice in humanitarian crisis training
Tuesday, 10 May 2022, 11am – 12.30pm

·        Intermediate level: Trauma informed practice in humanitarian crisis training
Tuesday, 17 May 2022, 10am – 1pm

·        Advanced level: Trauma informed practice in humanitarian crisis training
Tuesday, 24 May 2022, 10am – 3pm


2.      Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of displaced Ukrainians

Thrive LDN and partners have put together a short guide to help families in London create a safe and welcoming environment for displaced Ukrainians arriving to the UK. Outlined in the guidance are some simple dos and don’ts, based on the experiences of other groups of refugees. The guidance highlights how kindness, patience, and empathy will be vital for creating a safe and welcoming environment and avoid the potential for further harm. The guidance also contains further information on assisting displaced Ukrainians to access professional support, including NHS mental health and wider community support services.


3.      Updated wellbeing support for Afghan evacuees in London

Thrive LDN has worked with community partners to create a range of updated resources to support the mental health and wellbeing of the Afghan community – both for newly arrived evacuees and the many Afghans already living in the capital. A ‘Help with your concerns and worries’ booklet is now available in English, Dari and Pashto. Many Afghan evacuees have also found support through local faith groups and the updated booklets now include extracts from Good Thinking’s Five Ways to Good Mental Wellbeing & Islam resources, which helpfully show how wellbeing ideas are encouraged in Islamic teachings. Thrive LDN has worked with London boroughs and community organisations to print and distribute around 7,000 hardcopies of the updated booklets to Afghan evacuees in bridging accommodation and in the community.


4.      Supporting refugees with their mental health – a short video

Thrive LDN and the Refugee Council have developed a short video for volunteers and professionals on engaging with refugees and asylum seekers, particularly in relation to supporting mental health and wellbeing. In the video, Paul Cilla La Corte, London Therapeutic Services Manager for The Refugee Council, shares helpful information and advice learned from the nine years he has spent working with refugees and asylum seekers.

You can also find some further resources and guidance on the Thrive LDN website, for supporting Ukrainians and for supporting the Afghan community.

A note from Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Cares465_sajid-javid.jpg

A message to all Ukrainian health and care staff in the UK

The world is united in its condemnation, horror and disgust at the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine – a shocking event governments around the world, not least the UK, strained every diplomatic sinew to prevent. I can only imagine how scared, angry and outraged Ukrainian nationals must be feeling right now, including those living and working in the UK.

I want you to know we recognise wholeheartedly the vital role Ukrainian nationals and those of Ukrainian origin play in the health and care sector. Your compassion for those you care for is undoubted, and your pain is our pain.

That’s why the British Government is doing all it can to support Ukrainian nationals living and working in the UK. Building on immediate support provided in recent weeks to assist British Nationals to leave Ukraine, the Home Secretary recently confirmed Ukrainians who are on work, study or visit visas in the UK will have their visas temporarily extended or be able to switch onto different visa routes. We are also in ongoing discussions with our Ukrainian counterparts to determine what support, including medical supplies, is needed.

I know that nothing can make up for the hurt you will be going through, particularly those with loved ones in Ukraine, but I hope these visa changes provide some stability amidst the current uncertainty. You have helped our country through the most difficult times, often placing yourselves at risk as you did so, and it is only right that we help you too.

I want to remind you again of the support (NHS staff support, social care staff support) available to all frontline health and care workers, not just our Ukrainian friends but anyone affected by the events in eastern Europe. This package of resources is dedicated to health and care staff like you. Please call, text or make contact whenever you need. While you are living, working and supporting your families in this country, be assured we will do what we can to keep you safe and give you what peace of mind we can in these very challenging times.

My thoughts are with you all,

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

family.pngSupport for parents and carers

Your child may have heard or seen news about the war in Ukraine and the impact on neighbouring countries. As a parent or carer, it’s understandable that you might feel worried about this or unsure about how to talk to your child about what is happening. Below are some resources that may be useful for how to talk to and reassure your child. 

You can also speak to a member of the Keeping Well in South East London team by opening the chatbox if you'd like some support with how you're feeling at the moment. 

Tune into how your child is feeling

Make sure your child feels able to ask questions. Listen to what they tell you. Try to acknowledge any emotions they have. For example, you could say, “I can imagine that made you feel scared/worried/frightened/sad.” 

If your child is younger, their feelings may show up in play. This could be fighting games, or how they play with their toys. Try asking them what their toys are feeling to help you understand what your child is experiencing.  

Not all children will find it easy to share their feelings. It can help to: 

  • Ask how they are.  
  • Follow their lead with the conversation – if they want to talk, you can help them work through things.  
  • Give them space if they don’t want to talk or don’t seem interested.  
  • Ask if there is someone else they might be comfortable confiding in. 

Help them understand

Be open with your child when answering their questions. But be aware of their age and level of understanding. Ensure the information they have is accurate and appropriate for their age. 

If you don’t know the answer to something, it’s OK to say this. Tell them you’ll look it up and come back to them. You might want to use sites like CBBC Newsround as a tool to help younger children understand.’s Education Hub has some information on talking about the news and spotting misinformation. 

Tailor your response to your child’s needs

Every child will react to the news in their own way, so think about what would be most helpful to them.  

For younger children, play can be a way to help them make sense of the world. They may find it easier to engage with complicated topics this way. Engage in your child’s games to help them with any questions. You could try a role play with their toys about resolving conflict, for example. 

If you have a child with autism or ADHD, they are more likely to become overwhelmed by information. Explain what’s happening in simple terms. For children with autism, you may need to be more explicit about the smaller details. For example, help them understand that the Russian people aren’t responsible for the war and many are protesting against it.  

Focus on the people helping others

Take time to highlight the people who are supporting those in need. This can help give your child a hopeful and positive message. Try pointing out acts of kindness on TV or in newspapers. It could be things that individual people have done, or how different organisations are helping. 

Help them manage their worries

If your child is feeling anxious or worried, suggest they think about what’s in their control and what isn’t. This can help them let go of the things where they can’t make a difference. Try working through the ‘Circles of control activity’: 

  • Draw two circles – one smaller circle and one larger circle around the outside.  
  • Encourage your child to write down everything they can control in the inner circle.  
  • Ask them to write the things they can’t control in the outer circle.  

Get them to focus on the inner circle. What might they be able to do about the things they can control? What actions can they take? See if they can focus on the positive things they can do to make a difference.  

Red Cross has a video explaining the activity in more detail.  

More advice for supporting your child if they're upset by the news can be found here.

Encourage them to take positive action

If your child wants to do something to help, explore some ideas with them. This could include writing a letter to their MP. Or donating items to a collection for refugees.  

Keep things simple and achievable.

Give them stability in their own lives

Where possible, keep your family routines the same as they usually are. Routine is a way for children to be able to predict what’s coming next. It can help to give them a feeling of safety and security. 

Move on to other things

When they seem comfortable to move onto something else, let the subject go. Try to do something nice afterwards to help them manage their feelings. This could be a hobby, taking a walk, baking together or playing a game.  

Look to your child to judge when it’s the right time to focus on other things. But reassure them and let them know you’re there to talk whenever they need to. 

Source: How do I talk to my child about the Russian invasion of Ukraine? - Support for Parents from Action For Children

The below resource breaks down the background to the war.

Please note, depending on the age, needs and individual personality of your child, this may be more suitable reading for parents and carers. For children, it can be more beneficial that conversations are led by them, with active listening and acknowledging feelings being more important than sharing lots of facts and details.

conflict background.png


The below image explains the conflict at a glance.

Please note, depending on the age, needs and individual personality of your child, this may be more suitable reading for parents and carers. For children, it can be more beneficial that conversations are led by them, with active listening and acknowledging feelings being more important than sharing lots of facts and details.

conflict at a glance.png

Whilst it is natural as a parent or carer to prioritise caring for your children, it is important to recognise that in order to care for others, we must first care for ourselves.

Take the Oxygen Mask Analogy as an example: first place the oxygen mask over your own head before helping children and others that need your assistance.


When seeing or hearing stories on the news that bring up emotions in ourselves, it is important to recognise and process these feelings and thoughts before attending to your child's emotions and questions about what may be happening. This may make it easier to be fully present for others' emotional needs rather than being caught up in your own and to be able to really listen and acknowledge others' feelings.

For more information on managing anxiety in relation to news events, see our page on this here.

We also have further support available for managing generalised anxiety and low mood.

For further support on parental wellbeing and caring for children and families, visit the KWSEL page or visit the Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities (EPEC) webpage and Facebook page.