Seventy pastors are on hand to offer support to Ukrainian refugees in temporary accommodation centers in Estonia after a network of volunteers was set up, the Ministry of Social Affairs has said.
Pastoral care professionals and chaplains from Estonian church networks will now visit those who seek help. They speak Estonian, Russian and English.
Chief Adviser of the Ministry of Social Affairs Katri Aaslav-Tepandi said the ministry's analysis shows many war refugees need pastoral care and help to address their spiritual needs.
"Pastors naturally perform unexpected tasks: they provide the necessary information through official channels, they notice material problems in addition to spiritual needs, they help with referring questions, but they also simply provide support for families, mothers and children and can pray if people so wish," she said.
Additionally, they have acted as a liaison between the local Ukrainian community and the new arrivals.
Pastoral care is a psychosocial support service and the volunteer network has been convened by the Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Emotional support and counseling is also available in Estonian and Russian on the victim helpline 116 006 and on the emotional support and mental health hotline in Estonian and Russian 116123.
Editor: Helen Wright