All Christians and health professionals should speak out about the ongoing atrocities in Ukraine. It is our responsibility individually and collectively to make a difference. We cannot turn a blind eye. We cannot stick our heads in the sand. We cannot just shrug our shoulders.
.Research tells us that children’s direct exposure to the trauma of war leads to internalizing psychiatric disorders, such as major depression, PTSD, panic attacks, separation anxiety, and more. After 9/11, for example, 15% of New York City school children surveyed developed symptoms of agoraphobia, 12% developed separation anxiety, 10% developed generalized anxiety disorder, and 9% developed panic attacks. Externalizing psychiatric disorders, such as substance abuse and oppositional defiant disorder, are also seen in children who are directly exposed to war. We know that war can ruin the lives of children.
Parents will be injured or killed. Families will be torn apart. Schools and health care facilities will be decimated. Hundreds of thousands of refugees will be fleeing to nearby countries. Children’s natural support systems—parents, extended family members, friends, schools, churches — will be destroyed. The result will be scared, lonely, confused children whose lives will be changed negatively forever.
All civilized countries in the world must band together to stop this war as quickly as possible for the sake of the Ukrainian children. Their safety and preservation must be a top priority. A protracted war for purely political and expansionist reasons is anti-human and anti-children in its essence. And the most vulnerable group of all — children — will pay the highest psychological price.
The faster this war stops, the quicker these children and their families can resume some semblance of their pre-war lives. With each passing day, more and more of the children will be put in harm’s way and the life-changing consequences of their trauma will be unavoidable.