Mobile Medical Units, Art Therapy Among Interventions Providing Healing & Hope

(PORTLAND, OR) February 16, 2024 – Restoring physical and mental health while empowering people impacted by two years of war and violence — this is the primary aim of the global health and humanitarian organization, Medical Teams International, in Ukraine. Every day, our staff strive to improve access to essential emergency health services, psychosocial support, and community engagement for people in Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Dnipropetrovska Oblasts.

Mobile Medical Units: Meeting People Where They Are

Medical Teams offers primary care health services to people in need through mobile medical units. These units provide health care in remote communities which are directly affected by the war. Many of these villages were occupied by Russian forces and others are hosting people who have fled occupation. The units are staffed by general practitioners, nurses, and a cardiologist who provide medical consultations, diagnoses, free medication (based on prescriptions and medical supplies), patient follow up, and referrals. We have trained 20 community health volunteers and 81 health care workers this year in areas such as psychological first aid and the Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP). This program offers guidance for the care of mental, neurological, and substance abuse disorders.

Through our mobile medical teams, we supported 15,200 medical consultations in the past year for Ukrainians in conflict-affected areas. Additionally, pharmacies supported by Medical Teams provide free medication to internally displaced people and other community members. We also shipped 97 tons of critical medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine, which we distributed through local partners providing direct aid.

Group & Individual Therapy Sessions: Promoting Mental Health

Medical Teams’ mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) teams of staff and volunteers provide one-on-one consultations for children, adults, elderly, and people with disabilities. They also facilitate group interactions and other MHPSS activities, which have reached 11,477 people with psychosocial support. People of all ages whose villages and neighborhoods have been under occupation take part in these community-driven sessions.

Many people we serve are experiencing severe distress from the conflict, and they are struggling to process their grief and other complicated emotions around the loss of their homes, family members, or communities. Our mental health support programs help restore hope. For example, art therapy allows for creative expression and interaction in group and individual settings, helping Ukrainians to process their fears and past experiences and to support and encourage one another. Medical Teams also conducts mental health training for clinical staff and volunteers, so they are able to identify signs of distress in people who might be affected by the conflict.


On February 24, 2022, the world witnessed the violent start of the war between Russia and Ukraine — a further escalation of a conflict which started in 2014. This set off what would quickly become a massive displacement of Ukrainians within the country, with many fleeing to other European nations and beyond. The unprecedented impact of this migration is still felt worldwide, with an estimated 4 million internally displaced people, including a million children, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Also, roughly 6.3 million live as refugees in neighboring countries and globally, and 14.6 million people (about 40% of Ukraine’s population) deemed as needing urgent humanitarian assistance.

Since the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Medical Teams has provided life-saving medical care and mental health support to refugees, displaced people, host communities, and first responders, thanks to generous funding by the International Organization for Migration, the Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund, and private donors.

Medical Teams is working with local partners in Ukraine who are actively engaging with the response and are using their skills to support local communities. We are providing technical, financial, and in-kind donations to enable their continued response. Medical Teams’ primary partner is 100% Life Krivh Rih, which allows us to reach areas closer to the front line.

In Appreciation

“Throughout the past two years, Medical Teams has defined and refined our response through the input and feedback of those most impacted by the war,” said Duncan Fleck, Medical Teams Ukraine Country Director. “They are fundamental to our ongoing response which is critically important as the war marks its second year and humanitarian needs grow. We sincerely thank our staff, funding partners, program partners, and the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and churches helping us to improve access to urgently needed health care.”

About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at and on social media using @medicalteams.

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