Mental Health: Global Challenges of XXI Century
The Organizing of Community Health Clinic of Lviv Polytechnic


The Organizing of Community Health Clinic of Lviv Polytechnic

Nina Hayduk1 , Liliia Klos2, Larysa Klymanska3, Sofiya Stavkova 4 (Lviv)

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Lviv, Ukraine

1MSW, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Head, Social Work Programme; Director, International “Integration” Centre 2MD, D.Sc., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work

3D.Sc., Professor, Head, Department of Sociology and Social Work

4Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Social Work

Background. Addressing the need to change the nature and organizing of activities related to health promotion and healthcare in Ukraine is well overdue. The need is caused by external and internal transformations both in the healthcare system per se and approaches to ensuring its functioning at the international, national, regional and local levels as well as in connection with the reform of the healthcare system against the backdrop of the complicated foreign policy and societal and socio-economic conditions in the country. All this requires fundamental changes in the practice of preserving public health as a means of community and society development, i.e., applying a comprehensive approach based on an interdisciplinary interaction of professionals.

Purpose. The study aims to demonstrate the capabilities of Community Health Clinic as a tool for the development and a way to improve health and well-being of communities in Ukraine, using the example of Lviv Polytechnic.

Methods. Methods of theoretical studies (analysis of available statistical medical and demographic information, and analysis of the legal framework for the functioning of public health in Ukraine and abroad) were used to determine the current state of the healthcare system and public health measures in the context of the healthcare reform and introduction of an interdisciplinary approach to addressing public health problems. In 2016, an empirical study of the state of mental health of young people of Lviv and the region was conducted within the framework of the Ukrainian-Polish initiative to create a system of training professionals in the area of dependence therapy in Ukraine.

Due to applying methods of the so-called “moсatov research” conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw since 1984 and repeated every 4 years, the study belongs to the type of dynamic research, known as “trend studies”. This is a longitudinal investigation of trends in the youth environment with respect to the use of psychoactive substances and the state of mental health, based on comparative, systematic measurements in the context of socio-political transformations in the country (Ostaszewski, Bobrowski (Red.), 2013, pp.10-15). The survey was conducted by questioning 15-year-old schoolchildren, the grade choice was random, and the cumulative sample was 1801 pupils (Shchudlo, 2017; Herasym, Herus, Klymanska, Savka, 2017).

Results. It is found out that the consequences of the military aggression of Russia and the Joint Forces Operation in the East of the country are more than 10 thousand dead, 20 thousand wounded, 2 million internally displaced persons; the deterioration of living standards; the increase in the mortality rate from avoidable causes, i.e., such that could be prevented by a timely change in the behaviour with respect to health; high levels of mental health disorders as a result of PTSD, the growing prevalence of dependence on psychoactive substances and mortality from their consequences, especially among young people; over mortality of working-age men; the highest level of alcohol consumption by women in Europe, etc. (Vus, Klos, Flaherty, Sikorski, 2018). In achieving health, population remains largely focused on the biomedical model and relies primarily on healthcare and medicines, not realizing their own role in improving health, as well as the possibility of attracting other professionals in achieving health (Klos, 2018).

The healthcare reform in Ukraine is largely aimed at changing the approach to solving health problems of individuals, families and communities based on the biopsychosocial model of health, with an important place provided to an individual as well as to a group of professionals, i.e., a health team (Law of Ukraine "On State Financial Guarantees ...", 2017). Communities as hubs of provision of a complex of social and medical services play an important role in improving health. In the context of the administrative-territorial reform in Ukraine, communities are supposed to ensure the creation of favourable conditions and an accessible environment for health to be achieved by all its members.

Based on the results of studying the community health and mental health needs (mocatov research) (Noga-Grochola (Red.), 2017, pp.129-146), the existing legal framework (national and international documents on the development of public health, mental health care, inclusive education, assistance to war veterans and their families, and internally displaced persons) (Hayduk, Herasym, Korzh, 2017; Hayduk, Herasym, Korzh, 2016), International "INTEGRATION" Centre for Professional Partnerships and Department of Sociology and Social Work initiated the organizing of Community Health Clinic of Lviv Polytechnic in close cooperation with the administration of Lviv Polytechnic National University and its structural divisions.

Based on the values ​​of social work (values ​​of life and health of every individual, dignity and uniqueness of each person, the right of everyone to equal opportunities in achieving health and well-being, based on individual needs), the social inclusion principles and “No Limits” partnership networking, Community Health Clinic of Lviv Polytechnic was launched as a university unit for delivering counselling and coordination services. The services provision is supported by dependence prevention and therapy, “No Limits” services of accessibility to learning opportunities (following the principle “Fix the environment, not the person”), and Veteran services for combatants, their families, and IDPs. The services delivery is relying on the Social Work Education Program, training professionals for the area of Mental Health Care in particular, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Adapted Physical Activity and Sport in Rehabilitation (Klos, Klymanska, Hayduk, Herasym, 2018).

The increased attention to the quality and efficiency of social services entails the need to provide employees with an adequate level of support from a professional source, which is supervision in social work (administrative, educational, and supporting) in particular (Stavkova, 2018). Consequently, it is the development of human resources (HRD), i.e., of staff and volunteers, as being implemented through the supervision application, which is key to managing the services of Community Health Clinic of Lviv Polytechnic.

Conclusion: The findings suggest the need for changes in the healthcare system and the provision of social and medical services for the population, particularly they point to the need for a comprehensive solution of problems related to health and well-being of citizens in the conditions of modern Ukraine. This requires active involvement of an interdisciplinary team of professionals, in which social workers play important roles. Following this, it is Community Health Clinic of Lviv Polytechnic, which has become an innovative tool for implementing necessary changes at the local level in practicing public health preservation based on an interdisciplinary interaction of professionals.

Keywords: health, community, social work, human resource development, management, supervision, Community Health Clinic, Lviv Polytechnic


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