Important information on entry and residence for people fleeing Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine forces many people to flee Ukraine. Here you will find information on the situation at the borders and on entering/staying in Germany for Ukrainian citizens and people of other nationalities who have lived in Ukraine. Ukrainians already in Germany can also find reliable and up-to-date information here.
We are striving to provide answers to all questions. As soon as we have news, we will inform you immediately here and on Facebook.
If you have further questions on the topics of residence, finding accommodation, dealing with authorities, government financial aid, medical care and psychological support, daycare, school or work, register on our community platform “Together in Germany” and ask them anonymously and free of charge. There you will receive reliable and verified answers to all your questions from our moderators, experts or other members of the community.
In difficult times, it helps immensely if you can take care of your mental health (at least) as well as your physical health. If you are mentally fit, you benefit, and so do the people you support, whether here in Germany or at home in Ukraine.
What do I need to know?
Yes, that is quite normal. You are stressed, worried, and afraid for your relatives who have remained in Ukraine. You have probably arrived in Germany after a long flight, and you may feel lost and exhausted.
In the 5-minute video "Psychosocial Support for Refugees" produced by Refugio Munich, you will find helpful tips on how to remain stable and able to act in the current situation. The video is available in Ukrainian and German.
You can find numerous videos on how to deal with stressful situations on the DisasterReady YouTube channel. In these videos you will learn, among other things, what you can do when facing grief and loss. All videos are available in Ukrainian, Polish, English and Russian.
At bdp-verband.de, you will find short exercises that help you to relax. The course of the exercises is described in German and Ukrainian.
Refugee-trauma.help informs refugees in 7 languages (including Ukrainian, German and English) about dealing with trauma. You will learn what trauma is and how the body can react to trauma. The website also provides tips and specific exercises for better dealing with trauma.
At ipso-care you can seek counselling online, anonymously and free of charge from experienced therapists – they speak many languages including speak Ukrainian and Russian. The service is free. In discussion with a therapist, you can better understand your situation and look for solutions together.
On the „Psychologists of the World for Ukraine“ website, you can make an appointment with psychologists and psychotherapists for a free consultation session in Ukrainian, English, or Russian. When you register, you need to indicate your current country of residence, your language, and whether you would like to speak to a psychologist. You should also briefly describe your problem and specify which channel (e.g. Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom) you would like to use to communicate.
You can also seek psychological help from the psychosocial support centres for refugees and victims of torture. On the Nationwide working group of psychosocial support centres for refugees and victims of torture website, you will find the addresses, telephone numbers and emails of the contact persons in the psychosocial support centres. The website is available in German and English. You must inquire directly at the respective centre about the languages in which the counselling is available and whether there are any vacancies.
You can also find psychological support on krisenchat.de. Simply send the staff an SMS or WhatsApp message to receive support and counselling. The staff speaks Ukrainian and Russian.
You can also find free psychological counselling on Pinga.app. To get help, you need to register. After registration, you will be assigned to a psychologist. Once matched, you can text your questions to your psychologist. The psychologists are available and will answer your questions from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Communication is in Ukrainian. Registration and advice are free.
At psyhelpworld.com, you can find free psychological counselling. To get help, you must fill out and submit a form on docs.google.com. In the form, you need to provide your personal information, your email address, your mobile phone number and your current country of residence. You must also select the time you prefer for the session and specify how you would like to communicate (e.g., via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp). In the form, you also have to select which language you speak and for how many people you are seeking help (i.e. how many people want to speak to the psychologist). You must also briefly describe your life situation. Please note: These psychologists do not offer therapy sessions for the long term.
You can also seek free psychological counselling at albatros-direkt.de. To do so, you must select psychologists who speak your language on the page. If you then click on “Termin vereinbaren”, an overview with the available office hours will appear. The next step is to fill out a form where you must provide your personal information and email address. You need a camera for the video consultation session.
You can also search jameda under “Psychotherapeut & Psychiater” for psychotherapists in your area and your language and seek counselling free of charge.
At tellme.com.ua you can get free psychological counselling in Ukrainian or Russian. To receive support, you must register and provide your contact information. After your registration, you will receive an SMS with an appointment for a psychological consultation. The consultation usually lasts up to an hour.
Also on hedepy.com.ua, you can get free psychological counselling in Ukrainian. To get help, you have to put your name on a list. You enter your e-mail address and telephone number and describe your current situation there. You will then be contacted by the staff and given an appointment with a psychologist.
Also, on bf.in.ua, you will find guides and videos in Ukrainian on how to deal with stress and how it can affect your body. You'll get tips on recognising that your body is under stress and needs help. You will also learn how to help yourself.
There is also a brochure published by the “Gesamt-Ukrainischen Projekts für mentale Gesundheit” on how to deal with stress. The brochure is available in Ukrainian and includes information and exercises to combat stress. The exercises help to regain control of your thoughts and promote emotional well-being.
For people who live in Berlin, the following offers are also available:
- Over 500 medical practices in Berlin currently offer free medical and psychological help to refugees from Ukraine. You can find an overview at kvberlin.de. You can also find out which languages each practice/doctor speaks there.
- In Berlin, the "Survival Center" (“Zentrum Überleben“) is currently offering consultation hours for refugees from Ukraine. You can call 030-303906512 on Mondays between 1.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The employees on the phone speak German and English. You can also write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The "Survival Center" offers traumatized individuals, victims of torture and violence, and people with mental illnesses professional help, including outpatient medical or psychosocial care and therapy or in-patient, stay in a clinic. The staff speak different languages and work with professional interpreters.
- The “Berliner Krisendienst” project also offers psychological counselling for refugees from Ukraine. Counselling is possible in Ukrainian and Russian. You can reach the employees from Monday to Friday between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the telephone number 030-39063911.
On mhfa-ersthelfer.de, you will find 20 tips for people who provide support for refugees in Ukrainian, Russian, English and German. Even if you are a refugee yourself, this information can help you in dealing with others.
On mhfa-ersthelfer.de, you will also find information about dealing with traumatic events, depression and suicidal thoughts. The information is available in Ukrainian, Russian and German.
You will find a guide to psychological first aid in German, English, Ukrainian and Russian at IOM. Among other things, you will find helpful information on how to deal with traumatized people and tips on correct body language.
On the Refugio München website, you will find information in German on how to best help while also taking sufficient care of yourself.
At the nationwide working group for psychosocial centres for refugees and victims of torture, you will find extensive practical guidelines in German for dealing with refugees in a trauma-sensitive and empowering manner.
You can also participate in the events organized by the project "Razom - United at Ipso". On ipsocontext.org, you can register for various webinars. The webinars deal, among other things, with self-care and facing trauma and the consequences of trauma.
In the 6-minute video "Psychosocial Support for Refugee Parents: Dealing with Children in Times of Crisis", Refugio Munich provides helpful tips and information in Ukrainian and German on how you can support your children in the current situation and what your children need from you at the moment.
Also, on the UNICEF website, you can find stress-relieving games for your kids. Most games involve touching and can help your child to establish contact with the environment and develop trust in the environment.
In the exercise book "Tvoya syla" you will find practical tasks developed by the psychologist Svitlana Roiz for children of different age groups in Ukrainian. The activities help the children to deal with stress, understand their own feelings, and find support in themselves and their loved ones.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Institute of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, established the project of psychological support "PORUCH". The project’s psychologists offer zoom sessions for children, young people and their parents. The meetings are held in Ukrainian twice-weekly and last one hour each. A maximum of ten people can attend each session. Participation is free. You can register for a session on the project website poruch.me.
The University Hospital of Ulm has compiled some information on how children and adolescents react to traumatic situations and provides tips (in Russian and German) on how you can support the child according to their age.
On the leaflet “After the Crisis: Help Children Heal” (in German and Russian), you can find helpful information on dealing with children younger than 6 after a crisis. You can learn, for instance, how to give your child a sense of security in the current situation.
On the refugee-trauma.help website, you will find brochures in German and Ukrainian on how to deal with displaced children.
The Professional Association of German Psychologists (BdP) offers exercises which can help children process the experience of war in Ukrainian, German and Russian.
In the picture book “Das Kind und seine Befreiung vom Schatten der großen, großen Angst“, you will find tips in Ukrainian and Russian on how to deal with your child's fears and trauma. In this book, you will learn how your child perceives traumatic events and how you can support them. It also includes practical exercises your child can do to conquer their fear.
The Papilio Emotions Guide helps parents and children to discover and understand the world of emotions. In the “Compassion booklet” you will find various exercises and tips on how to deal better with feelings such as fear, anger and sadness. There, you can see how you and your child can feel happiness even in difficult times. You can download the free booklet on papilio.de in Ukrainian, German and Russian.
In the brochure published by the Accidents Insurance Berlin, “Trauma – what to do?”, you will find information in Ukrainian and Russian about how trauma can affect children of different age groups. Here you will find out what a child needs to process the traumatic experience and how you can help.
See the "Children" section for more information and support for children and families.
You can check out jameda and, under “Psychotherapeut & Psychiater”, look up psychotherapists in your area who speak your language and can provide you counselling free of charge.
On github.com, you can search for psychotherapists who speak Ukrainian and/or Russian directly.
Important: Psychological or psychotherapeutic treatments are subject to a fee. But if you are already covered by a health insurance company, they can take over the costs. You can read more in our chapter “Health insurance”.
If you need a prescription for medication, you can book an appointment with a doctor through Crisis Doctor. The doctors speak Ukrainian, Russian, English, or German and decide whether you need the medication.
You can search on jameda under the specialization "Psychotherapist & Psychiatrist" for a Russian or Ukrainian-speaking psychotherapist in your area who will consult you free of charge.
You can reach out to the Russian-speaking telephone counselling service Doweria around the clock at +49 30 440 308 454. The service is free, but you need to pay regular telephone call fees, which are not much.
You can contact the "Ukraine War Hotline" of the Professional Association of German Psychologists (BDP) daily from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and talk to the staff about your concerns. You can reach them on 0800 777 22 44. The staff speaks German. The consultation and the call are both free of charge.
You can also contact the telephone counselling service. You can reach the staff around the clock on 0800 / 111 0 111 or at telefonseelsorge.de.. The employees speak German. The consultation and the call are both free of charge.
You can also talk about your concerns at virtualsupporttalks.de. The staff speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English, and German and will listen to you. You can contact them via email - they will then call you back within 24 hours. The offer is free.
At ArrivalAid, you can request 1:1 support (online) in Russian and German to better deal with the traumatic experiences in everyday life. A staff member will then get in touch with you directly.