When Kimberly Hook, one of our T32 fellows, helped us develop a new mental health research site for our fellows at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) in Kyiv, we were all overjoyed to have our Ukrainian colleagues join our faculty. We have been impressed with the high quality of their work and the deep sense of mission they display. We are all united in doing our best to advance mental health in our societies and the societies where we work all over the world.
Against this backdrop, we are horrified at the callousness of what has transpired in Ukraine at the hands of President Vladimir Putin. We unequivocally condemn his cruel invasion of a peaceful, sovereign, democratic neighbor. We must hope that someday he will be brought to justice.
We sincerely hope that our country, the countries of Europe, and the world will increase support for Ukraine in their struggle. Many of us here in the United States have been moved by the steadfast bravery of the Ukrainian people in the face of threat and great suffering, and we realize that in many ways they are fighting for all of those of us who hold democratic values.
While we are not a political organization, we want to express our support for Ukraine and for our colleagues at NaUKMA during their time of need. When the time comes for post-war stress management and mental health care, we look forward to discussing programs that we may be able to share to assist their therapeutic efforts both in Kyiv and across the country.
For those looking to support Ukraine now, we suggest taking two minutes to write to your representatives and to President Biden. Using this website (https://democracy.io/), you can easily identify your representatives and contact them all at once. Here is a suggested sample message that you may use:
“I write to you on this grim day to ask that you move swiftly to act against the unprovoked and unjustified war Russia is waging on Ukraine. As your constituent, I ask that you speak for me in the halls of Congress and say that we will not tolerate this violent assault on Ukrainian sovereignty. Impose the strictest sanctions possible, targeting the Russian elite. Send as much humanitarian, financial, and military aid to Ukraine as you can. Invest now in the resilience of the Ukrainian people, whose fragile democracy is at grave risk of failing under the pressure of this horrific assault. The United States provided security assurances to Ukraine in 1994 with the signing of the Budapest Memorandum. As a constituent, I request your support for Ukraine in Congress, to uphold our obligations by suppressing the Kremlin’s destructive actions against Ukraine.”
In solidarity and support.