Hidden Wounds of war FB Event cover

Fourteenth International Sakharov Conference

Hidden Wounds of War

Trauma, Healing and Recovery among Ukrainian veterans
Cinema Centre ROMUVA, Kaunas || May 21-23, 2024


Romeo Dallaire RAD 2022 Credit Marie Claude Michaud

Roméo Dallaire

Lieutenant-General The Honorable Roméo Dallaire is a celebrated advocate for global human rights, as well as a highly-respected...

Dr. Stephanie Houle

Stephanie Houle

DDr. Stephanie Houle is a Senior Researcher with Veterans Affairs Canada and an Associate Scientist with...

Denisa Dokulilová

Denisa Dokulilová

Clinical Psychologist in Central Military Hospital Prague(since 2006), Deputy Head...

Haakon G. Engen

Haakon Engen

Major Dr. Haakon G. Engen is an officer with the Institute of Military Psychiatry inthe Norwegian Armed Forces...

Janet H. Anderson

Janet Anderson

Janet Anderson is a journalist and podcast host specialised in accountability processes for international crimes...

Lesya Kharchenko

Lesya Kharchenko

Lesya Kharchenko is a Kyiv-based independent video-maker and journalist...

Mr. Masi Nayyem(2)

Masi Nayyem

Mr. Masi Nayyem is a Ukrainian lawyer of Afghan origin, founder of the Miller law firm and of NGO...

Mr. Zilvinas Tomkus,

Zilvinas Tomkus 

Ċ½ilvinas Tomkus is the Vice-Minister of National Defence of Lithuania...

Prof. Eric Vermetten

Eric Vermetten

Prof. Dr. HGJM (Eric) Vermetten, now retired from his role as a colonel, continues...

Natalia Umrenkova

Natalia Umerenkova

Psychologist, PhD. Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National...

Prof. Jana Javakhishvili

Jana D. Javakhishvili 

Jana D. Javakhishvili is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute of Addiction Studies...

Prof. Juozas Augutis

Juozas Augutis

Prof. Juozas Augutis is a Lithuanian engineer, technologist, mathematician, Habilitated Doctor of Sciences of Technology, and...

Prof. Robert van Voren

Robert van Voren

Robert van Voren is Chief Executive of Human Rights in Mental Health - Federation Global Initiative on Psychiatry (FGIP) and


Simon Wessely

Sir Simon Wessely FRS is the Regius Chair of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and...

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Timothy Garton Ash

Timothy Garton Ashis Professor of European Studies and Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow Emeritus at...

Rachel Thibeault

Rachel Thibeault

Rachel Thibeault is an expert of global health and human rights policy and has made extraordinary contributions to...

Robin Imthorn

Robin Imthorn 

Robin Imthorn embodies the power of vulnerability and resilience. As a marine, awarded with the Legion of Honor...

Dr. Deirdre MacManus

Deirde MacManus

Dr. Deirdre MacManus is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Joint Head of the... 

Ryszard Chudy

Ryszard Chudy

Ryszard Chudy has extensive experience managing companies from the private security sector, especially...

Darren Minshall (UK)

Darren Minshall

Dr Darren Minshall is a consultant psychiatristwho has served in the Royal Navy since...

Magdalena Paluszkiewicz Misiaczek

Magdalena Paluszkiewicz-Misiaczekis 

Dr Magdalena Paluszkiewicz-Misiaczekis an Assistant Professor with an MA in English Philology with specializations...

Nataliia Haluhan

Nataliia Haluhan

Nataliia Haluhan is a project managerwith over 13 years of research and project management experience...

Oystein J Naess 684x1024

Oystein Jack Naess

Norwegian Special Forces for 10 years, including participation in military operations in Lebanon...

Viktoriia Samova Katalichuk

Viktoriia Samova-Katalichuk

Since 2014, I have been a volunteer, taking courses on the psychology of war, PTSD, working...

Andrii Ilchenko

Andrii Ilchenko

Coach of the project "Veterans from Dialogue to Employment" under the auspices of the...

Kateryna Timakina

Kateryna Timakina

Clinical psychologist, trainer, project methodologist at MHPSS...

Olesya Morozova

Olesia Morozova 

Ukrainian psychiatrist, psychotherapist, who provides medical services for Ukrainian...


The conference “Hidden Wounds of War” will bring together specialists from Europe and North America, as well as Ukrainian professionals and volunteers and representatives of international aid organizations. We will bring a carefully selected group of 50 Ukrainians to Lithuania, most of them persons who are actively working with veterans in the country. In addition to the approximately 20 speakers, we will invite several dozen experts to attend the conference and subsequently participate in the working groups on May 22. On May 23 the Ukrainian delegates will be offered a one-day seminar on substance abuse issues among military and veterans, and on self-support and resilience. The goal of the conference is to provide an overview of state-of-the-art rehabilitation programs and initiatives, explore avenues of collaboration and coordination, and garner support for this crucial long-term effort to help Ukraine deal with the disastrous consequences of this war.

Unless a consecutive chain of services is developed that involves all parties, but also all stakeholders, Ukraine will be facing a very dark period, even after winning this war. In order to be able to deal with the future tsunami of persons seeking help, several preconditions will have to be met: 

  • On the local level small veteran centers need to be set up that provide follow up rehabilitation services, family counseling and a support network where a veteran can find a “second home”;

  • A sound methodology needs to be developed, that fits Ukrainian reality, not only socioculturally but also financially. In short, a Ukrainian model needs to be developed;
  • Staff will need to be trained to provide the necessary support. This will mean training large numbers of professionals and teach them to work in multidisciplinary teams, and to involve at all level persons with lived experience, veterans themselves. In addition a network of volunteers needs to be set up, but they too need to be trained.

All three targets are the focus of the “Veteran Mental Health Center of Excellence (VMHCE)” a joint initiative of FGIP, King’s College in London and the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv. This Center will have, in addition to research and training capabilities, a clinical base that will provide both specialized veteran mental health services and on the job training. An international scientific advisory council will oversee the quality of services rendered.

The outcomes of the conference will contribute to the work of this VCMHE, and to the development of state-of-the art and sustainable veteran mental health services in Ukraine. The conference will also form the basis for the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association that will be held in Kyiv on October 10-11, 2024, which is organized together with FGIP and the VMHCE and where veteran mental health will be one of the main topics of the conference.





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