April 15, 2024

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Ukraine ticker: Russian attack kills 5 civilians

Ukraine ticker: Russian attack kills 5 civilians

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has had a measurably greater impact on the mental health of people in Europe than the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 and the corona lockdown in 2020.

This is the conclusion of a study conducted by an international team of researchers led by psychologists Julian Scharburt and Mitja Beck from the University of Munster, Germany. The study was published today in the special issue of “Nature Communications,” according to a statement from the university.

The start of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine almost two years ago led to a widespread collective decline in well-being – regardless of age, gender, political orientation or other characteristics of the people surveyed, the University of Münster announced the results.

The study, which was carried out from the end of 2021 to the summer of 2022, made it possible to examine daily mood trends in the weeks leading up to the outbreak of war. “It is usually not possible to investigate such extreme events in a precise time window at the same geographic latitude,” said Professor Baek.

Data is unique. The researchers focused on people in Europe and a two-month period around the outbreak of war on February 24, 2022.

The data used comes from the project “Overcoming Corona”, which examined the well-being of people around the world during the coronavirus pandemic. Data was collected from October 2021 to August 2022 in collaboration with 50 scientists.

The result shows that people in Europe are significantly lower in well-being compared to other parts of the world. There is no direct correlation between strong concern and willingness to donate or active solidarity such as participating in demonstrations.

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While the war in Ukraine had a particularly high profile on social media, those surveyed had, on average, poor mental health. “In addition to the obvious consequences of war, such as escapes or disrupted supply chains, there is a less obvious dimension: the effects of daily news and images of the psyche and the psyche,” Scharburt said.

And: “Our data indicate that political and social actors should focus on mental health in times of crisis – especially those who are already vulnerable to stress.”

A note from the study authors: People in Ukraine and Russia may be under more psychological stress – however, no data are available for these countries.