The mental health consequences on children of the war in Ukraine: A commentary

Elsevier, Psychiatry Research, Volume 317, November 2022
Elvevag B., DeLisi L.E.

The news from Ukraine is currently full of heart-wrenching stories accompanied by graphic images of civilian casualties and massacres that are telecast world-wide on a daily basis. It is hard to fathom the magnitude of the devastation and disruption to regular lives and everyday routines that war brings with it, the witnessing of countless deaths, the associated trauma of living in perpetual fear, and the daily experience of many families and orphans who are crowded into basement bomb shelters now for months on end. These issues make us contemplate the mental health consequences, among other lasting effects, of this costly war in Ukraine, and wars in other countries not so widely featured in Western news. Despite people of all ages being affected by war, children are especially vulnerable. This commentary outlines some of the epidemiology of the consequences of war, the mental health sequelae specifically, and the complexity of providing culturally and contextually relevant interventions that meet the needs of children.