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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-68

Mental Health Disparities of Ukrainian Children Exposed to War: A Narrative Review


1 Adult Outpatient Psychiatry, Union Health Services; Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Chicago, IL, USA
2 Psychiatry Residency Faculty, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL, USA
3 Chief Resident of Psychiatry, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aida Mihajlovic
Adult Outpatient Psychiatry, Union Health Services, W Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_20_22

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Although there has been a lot of research focused on the effect of war on child refugees, along with those impacted directly, there are no recent studies comparing these two groups side-by-side. In this paper, we review psychiatric comorbidities associated with children (defined as 17-year-olds and younger) exposed to war, with an additional emphasis on approaches to treatment. In addition, we aim to understand these children's thoughts and insights into their situation(s). We will do so by presenting narratives given by close relatives of (1) two children currently in Ukraine in the midst of the war, (2) another young Ukrainian child war refugee who was able to recently leave the country, and (3) an adult and his experiences of being a war refugee and then resettling in the United States as a child. We never know when or where a war will begin. It is important that we have mental health professionals that can help children through the current and unexpected adversities that arise with war and displacement. These children need assistance with their uncertainties about the future and the risk of disruption of peace or comfort. Moreover, mental health disparities are substantial amongst children exposed to the traumas associated with war, and treatment is limited. We share this research to encourage mental health professionals to seek understanding of the impact the current war is having on Ukrainian youth. It is our hope that, with presenting these narrative accounts, mental health providers will gain a deeper understanding of what these children are encountering and will become prepared to support them and their mental health.


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