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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EE-2022-13/2317 Updated – measures in Estonia

Psychological assistance for Ukrainian refugees

Psühholoogiline tugi Ukraina põgenikele

Country Estonia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 22 March 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Other humanitarian measures
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Measure added 18 May 2022 (updated 20 September 2022)

Background information

The Volunteer Network of Pastors was convened by the Mental Health Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs to support War Refugees in Ukraine in accommodation centres. The voluntary network consists of 70 pastors, chaplains and clergymen from different member churches and congregations of the Estonian Council of Churches, whose qualifications correspond to the profession of pastor or chaplain and who are fluent in Estonian, Russian and English at the level of communication.

The Ministry of Education and Research together with the Estonian Association of School Psychologists opened a school psychologists phone line in 2021, which in light of the Ukrainian war includes Ukrainian-speaking psychologists.

Content of measure

In addition to psychosocial crisis assistance provided by the Social Insurance Board, the Ukrainian refugees have the possibility to talk to chaplains and pastors in the accommodation centres. They provide a special kind of mental health service - it is not a psychological help or treatment, rather they provide empathetic communication, spiritual support, listening, relieving emotional distress, empowering coping, finding strength and hope for further living.

School children, parents and education employees have the possibility to receive psychological assistance from Ukrainian-speaking school psychologists via special free-of-charge phone line. It is opened once a week at evening for 4 hours.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

03 August 2022

School psychologists phone line does not iclude Ukrainian-speaking psychologists anymore. Only Estonian and Russian language are available.

On 1 August victim support crisis hotline in Ukrainian language was opened. It is available daily from 4 to 8 pm. It is also possible to register for a video call session.

Since the beginning of July, the Social Insurance Board employs two Ukrainian-speaking psychologists who provide support to war refugees living in temporary accommodation.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Children (minors)
Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement

Views and reactions

No information


  • 22 March 2022: Koolipsühholoogide nõuandeliin alustab kõnedele vastamist ka ukraina keeles (School psychologists' hotline also starts answering calls in Ukrainian) (
  • 08 April 2022: Majutuskeskustes on valmis Ukraina sõjapõgenikele tuge pakkuma 70 hingehoidjat (Support to War Refugees in Ukraine in accommodation centres) (
  • 03 August 2022: Sotsiaalkindlustusamet avab ukrainakeelse nõustamisliini (The Social Insurance Board will open a counselling hotline in Ukrainian) (
  • 09 September 2022: Ukraina - psühhosotsiaalne kriisiabi (Ukraine - psychosocial crisis support) (


Eurofound (2022), Psychological assistance for Ukrainian refugees, measure EE-2022-13/2317 (measures in Estonia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.