My concern abaut Ukraine

As I have been an advocate of mental health for a long time, my concern is whether we care about the mental health of people in a country torn by war. Are we into world politics so much that we can not see the suffering of the ‘ordinary’ people in this devastating crisis?

I come from a country that has been devastated by a civil war in the Balkans. I do remember clearly when brother was sent to fight against brother, unwillingly, no questions asked. From one day to another the neighbour became the alleged enemy. Did anyone ask us whether we wanted war or not, NO! Nobody asks the common folk and nobody cares what happens to them.

Were Ukraininians or Russians asked whether they wanted this horrific war, I doubt it. World politics overwrites the destiny of common people. Who are the common people?Do we know them? Are we familiar with their everyday lives, with their struggles to survive and stay sane? Let me tell you that I know how the majority of these people live. They struggle to push through one day at a time. They have no decent job opportunities, their monthly income is lower than the average weekly income of a common factory worker in the West. The healthcare system is virtually equal to none. The hospitals look like derelict buildings left behind after World War II. Basic diseases are left untreated due to the lack of facilities, equipment, medicine, trained professionals and specialists. So you can imagine how much emphasis is put on mental health. People do not get diagnosed as bipolar, manic, depressed, anxious, no PTSD or anything remotely similar. Most people don’t even know that these issues even exist, let alone getting proper treatment. There is no state welfare, you do not have an option to take a leave of absence if you suffer from depression or severe anxiety. You are lucky to have a job that pays so you can meet the basic needs in life like food and a roof over your head and some decent clothing if you are lucky.

So when a girl from Russia asked me whether she would be banned from a website for people with mental health issues, which is her only refuge, my heart got broken again.

Are we so self-centered and outright egotistical that we can turn a blind eye to the people who are the most vulnetable? Is politics, money or pride more precious than the suffering of any human being whether they are from Ukraine or Russia!?

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MA in English Language and Literature, Teacher, Mental Health Advocate

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MA in English Language and Literature, Teacher, Mental Health Advocate

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