The First Lady of Ukraine has visited a children's mental health unit in east London to discuss the complex health needs of young people affected by war.

Olena Zelenska took a tour around the Coborn Centre for Adolescent Mental Health, based at Newham Hospital in Plaistow, and held roundtable talks during her visit.

The roundtable was organised by Professor Dennis Ougrin of Queen Mary University of London, alongside the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ukrainian Embassy and the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which runs the centre.

Romford Recorder: The roundtable brought together leading mental health experts and policymakersThe roundtable brought together leading mental health experts and policymakers (Image: Ukrainian Embassy)

This roundtable aimed to discuss the complex mental health needs of young people, especially those impacted by conflict, and brought together leading policymakers and mental health experts from academia, healthcare, national health services, and charities from the UK and Ukraine.

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Ms Zelenska said: "Unfortunately, Ukraine has been living under extreme conditions for two years of invasion and has already gained extensive practical knowledge in dealing with mental health: 90 per cent of our people have a high or very high level of stress.

"This applies not only to defenders but also to civilians who experience stress daily due to shelling and the constant awareness of the possibility of death, but mental health is not only our local challenge but also a global one and the response to it must be joint and comprehensive."

During her tour of the Coborn Centre, the First Lady met with clinicians to discuss the how the centre's approach can help post-war mental health recovery in Ukraine.

Professor Ougrin, who graduated from medical school in Ukraine and is currently the co-director of Queen Mary’s youth resilience unit, said: "Developing community mental health services for young people is a strategic priority for both Ukraine and the UK.

"Ukraine has gained valuable experience of developing trauma-focused clinical services for young people who continue to experience the effects of the war.

"This experience will shape the response to future wars globally."

Ms Zelenska is renowned for being an advocate for mental health care in Ukraine, having created the All-Ukrainian Mental Health Program to combat stigma and improve access to mental health services.

Romford Recorder: The First Lady also took a tour of the centre and met with cliniciansThe First Lady also took a tour of the centre and met with clinicians (Image: Ukrainian Embassy)

Health Minister Lord Markham, who also attended the roundtable, said: "It was a privilege and an honour to join First Lady Zelenska on her visit at Coborn Centre for Adolescent Mental Health, and to take part in an invaluable discussion on the mental health needs of children and young people.

"We remain committed in our unwavering support for Ukraine."