Sane Ukraine Program


The ongoing Russia-Ukrainian War has created a humanitarian crisis, resulting in loss of life, mass displacement, and destruction of homes and infrastructure. And as may be expected, living under this anxiety and instability takes a psychological toll on those affected. 

The Sane Ukraine program offers a response to these challenges. Its core objective is to provide practical mental health support to diverse groups including teachers, soldiers, and medical professionals, as well as training for those who aren't mental health experts but still want to help. The program takes a proactive approach, seeking to identify and offer aid to those who may be particularly vulnerable to the enduring trauma. With mental health researchers  anticipating a future where climate change and intra- and international conflict increase the stress that many Ukrainians are experiencing, programs like this one can offer a potential model for providing needed front-line support and resources.

The following policy briefs, opinion piece, and member spotlight shed light on the operational framework of the Sane Ukraine program, its preliminary findings, and recommendations for the future. 

Written Pieces

Demolished building in Ukraine

Brief | How the Sane Ukraine Program Seeks to Support Psychological Wellbeing for Ukrainians amid Ongoing Conflict

Sane Ukraine, a pilot program that seeks to address Ukrainians’ mental health concerns from a preventative rather than a curative frame, acknowledges that traditional understandings of when and how to deploy mental health interventions may not meet the needs of populations in wartime.

Person holding another persons hand

Brief | Preliminary Results from the Sane Ukraine Program

Sane Ukraine offers one model of preventative psychological care and psychoeducation, representing the first layer of a multi-tier model of psychosocial, community-based support. Initial data suggests that this model is feasible, tolerable, and cost-effective despite the ongoing stressors of acute conflict. 

Ukrainian cadet holding artificial flower with Ukrainian flag colors

Opinion | Lessons from Ukraine on protecting mental health during conflict

While Sane Ukraine was created in the midst of a conflict because trained psychologists saw a need and opportunity to help their country, this program has the potential to help reshape how we think about mental health interventions. 

Demolished buildings in Ukraine

New Member Spotlight | Kristina Bohdanova Brings Proactive Mental Health Care to Ukrainians

“We see Sane Ukraine's work as preventative against PTSD, depression, anxiety, and all the outcomes of prolonged traumatic stress,” said Kristina Bohdanova, who lives in Ukraine as a medical doctor and a graduate student in clinical psychology at Ukraine Catholic University. 


Ukrainian Catholic University

Bohdanova's research focuses on stress management, resilience, and PTSD prevention along with work in conflict-affected areas, mainly Ukraine, which is taken into perspective. Overarching themes include the organization of psychosocial support in war-affected populations as part of preventative interventions in Mental health.

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
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Weckesser's research focuses on maternal and child mental health, government benefits, and health policy. Overarching themes in Weckesser's writings include racial and economic health disparities, Medicaid, NYC health policy, housing policy, and mental health. Weckesser serves as the Center Policy and Advocacy Manager at CUNY SPH's Center for Innovation in Mental Health and on the Young Alumni Board at her alma mater, Drew University.

Center for Innovation in Mental Health
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Weiss' research focuses on describing and addressing mental health disparities in trauma-exposed populations, specifically through community-based, participatory research (CBPR) methods and the implementation and mixed-methods evaluation of community-centered interventions such as mental health task-sharing. She uses integrative approaches and specializes in supporting recovery from trauma, particularly the recovery of emerging adults at the intersections of acculturative and traumatic stressors in her clinical work.