Numa is honored and happy to greet Mrs. Oxana Bayer, Ph.D. as a member of our Advisory Board! Dr. Bayer is essential for our involvement in assisting our Ukrainian colleagues who work in the field of psychotherapy and social work through Psychological Assistance to Refugees and Displaced group!
I vividly remember my first conversation with Oxana in March 2022, when we spoke about how we can support Ukrainian psychotherapists impacted by the war with Russia. I came into contact with Oxana through a network of academic colleagues– East European women scholars. At my end, it was Prof. Elena Gapova, a Belarusian-American sociologist whom I’ve known for nearly 30 years. When Oxana called, I was sitting in my car on a parking lot, ready to take off to see my child. I was in Valparaiso, Indiana, and Oxana was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The conversation between two strangers which had never seen each other before, in a context of war which was still a shock, was stressful for both of us but we quickly moved to talk business.
Oxana has helped to facilitate a supervision/introvision Zoom group on psychological help for refugees and displaced people, for Ukrainian psychologists and psychotherapists. The group is based in Oxana’s home town Dnipro in Ukraine at her Alma Mater Alfred Nobel University in Dnipro but reaches to professionals and students all over Ukraine and abroad.
Since mid-March, the group has been meeting weekly on Fridays, at 9:30am EST. Since then, James W. Williams and I have been meeting amazing Ukrainian colleagues who work under wartime conditions either at their home towns, or as refugees and displaced people. We deeply respect and admire all of them. As for us, it has been a life-changing experience, connecting us with people of Ukraine in a way which escapes words. That experience would not be possible without Oxana.
On our short but intense journey, Oxana has helped at every corner, and has been tireless in her commitment and work for people in need, despite her own personal distress and experience of displacement. Oxana helps to organize the group, make sure that we always have our wonderful translators who do their work voluntarily; if needed, she steps in and translates herself. She assisted in finding a Ukrainian translator for the trauma-informed workbooks for children and adolescents. She consults the needs of people impacted by the war. She consults our ideas and progress. She is always there when we need her, even in the early mornings, and late at night.
We are very happy that Oxana allowed us to officially recognize her role in our work, and we are proud to appoint her as the first member of Numa’s Advisory Board.