Frontline Therapists is a non-profit organization founded in 2021 in the wake of the 44 day war with one mission in mind – to provide sustainable emergency mental health services to those affected by this life-altering event.
Mental health and therapeutic services are scarce and substandard all throughout Armenia, and even more so in the communities and regions outside of Yerevan. Our team members have visited hospitals, military bases, homes, shelters, and villages bordering the affected regions to provide these mental health services. These services include individual therapy, group therapy sessions, and alternative therapy forms, such as art therapy and mindfulness and meditation practices.
In addition to providing these services, we also aim to educate mental health professionals in the many regions of Armenia in order to equip them with the tools necessary to serve their respective communities.
To improve the emotional well-being of the people of Armenia by providing trauma-informed treatment to ex-combatants and any other people impacted by war, along with increasing education and awareness for professionals and the community at large.
As a nonprofit, Frontline Therapists works with its partners in the Armenian community to help address the operational challenges of the post-war crisis in terms of mental health and aftercare for ex-combatants.
Our organization aims to fill in the gaps of therapeutic services all across Armenia by providing direct care and mental health education to the military, volunteer soldiers, family members of soldiers, as well as other professionals that were consequently impacted by the war.
Frontline Therapists’ mission is to meet the mental health needs of the soldiers and others impacted by war regardless of their location. This includes serving them in any city or villages in Armenia.
OUR THREE MAIN OBJECTIVES
Provide direct mental health services including consultation, evaluation, individual and group therapy by licensed professionals (Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychoanalysts, etc.) to soldiers impacted by combat.
Provide adjunct services such as alternative therapies to increase comfort of treatment and reduction of stressful emotions. This includes for example art therapy and groups focused on mindfulness, expressive movement, meditation, and self-help.
Additional treatment needs, such as psychiatric evaluation or psychotropic medications, will be provided by partnering agencies.
Services, while directed primarily to impacted soldiers, will also be expanded to include others directly impacted by the war such as family members, parent’s of fallen soldiers or missing soldiers, military staff, professionals, etc.
Providing training throughout the year on various topics that will increase the knowledge and preparedness of local professionals. Training will be provided in the office by licensed experts, free of charge.
Providing opportunities of learning for psychology students and interns, including seminars, practicum opportunities including individual and group interactions. As well as case consultations and supervision for local professionals.
Developing informational content for the community at large to increase awareness and knowledge of mental health topics and symptoms. Created and spread through social media platforms.
Creating guides and tools to be used to increase self-awareness, develop self-regulation, and overall healthy coping tools. Format will be videos which will be available for free on social media platforms.
Arpe Asaturyan is A Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Psychotherapist, with an MSW from the University of Southern California. Over the past 10 years, she has worked with agencies to build and implement culturally appropriate services and has been committed to reaching the underserved and vulnerable populations of Los Angeles. She has an established private practice with specialties in stress management, treating symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief and loss, postpartum disorders and serving the geriatric community. She founded Frontline Therapists after volunteering during the 44-day War, working with severely injured soldiers, displaced families, and others in mental health crises.
Aida Taroyan holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Yerevan State University. She works alongside clients with psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, loss and grief, and relationship issues, among others. Aida is the co-founder of the Armenian Association of Analytical Psychology through which she is continuing her training to become an analytical psychologist.
Karine Bitar is a Lebanese-Armenian with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Social Work. She came to Armenia last year with the Birthright Armenia program, where she volunteered with Frontline Therapists for five months. After completing the program, Karine moved to Armenia and now works as Frontline’s full-time Social Worker and Case Manager. In this role, she supports our soldiers in finding educational and work opportunities as they reintegrate after completing their military service.
Laura Boyajian holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Disability & Advocacy Studies. She has worked with local organizations and entities to promote inclusion and services for people with disabilities by ensuring equal access to housing, education, and mental health services. Laura is particularly passionate about promoting disability and mental health awareness in Armenia and relocated to her homeland in response to the 2020 Artsakh War where she works as a Research and Psychological Assistant for Frontline Therapists.
Gayane Avagyan is a linguist, born and raised in Abovyan. She is currently earning her Master’s degree in Armenian Philology at Yerevan State University. At Frontline Therapists, Gayane develops her skills through administrative tasks including translations, social media management, and content creation. Gayane says, “it is a good experience for me to work in this organization and to communicate with professional, amazing, and positive people”.