Today in Kurdistan, we are seeing a mental health crisis and population-wide trauma, particularly among displaced Iraqis. SEED works to support displaced people cope with their displacement and begin to recover from trauma. Trauma, and mental health disorders in Kurdistan generally are not widely understood and people find it difficult to give/receive emotional support to those in need. We are introducing this four part series on trauma to help raise awareness of the needs in our society, particularly among those that have been victims of violence, including sexual violence, conflict, and displacement. Help SEED raise awareness about these issues by sharing these videos.

Part 1 – Violence and Trauma – Interview with SEED’s Director of Psychological Services, Rezhna Mohammed, July 2016.

How has violence impacted the displaced?  What is trauma and what do they experience when they’ve been through a traumatic event?  Can people really recover from violence, including from sexual violence which many consider so shameful?  How can you treat trauma and what is needed?

Part 2 – Psychosocial Services – Interview with SEED’s Director of Psychological Services, Rezhna Mohammed, July 2016.

What are “psychosocial services” and how does that differ from psychological services? Why do we need them?  How does psychosocial service delivery work? Why does SEED deliver its mental health services along with so many other activities?  What does SEED’s comprehensive approach to care mean?  How do you help an individual recover in a society that is more focused on family and community? How do you engage the family?

Part 3 – Overcoming the Stigma of Getting Help Interview with SEED’s Director of Psychological Ser

Given that in our society in Kurdistan, it can be considered shameful to ask for help, and mental health services are not widely acceptable, how do you overcome the stigma? What approaches does SEED apply in its work? How does SEED overcome these barriers and build trust relationships? How have you created a “safe space”? How does sexual violence impact people and how does SEED reach survivors of sexual and gender based violence?

Part 4 – Impact of a Population-Wide Trauma- Interview

The people of Kurdistan and Iraq have faced decades of persecution, violence and conflict. What is the impact on people if they don’t have access to psychological services? How are the people of Kurdistan coping with decades of violence and trauma. Now we have a society, or community-wide trauma among the displace, particularly among the Yezidi community. Are there lessons from our experience with Anfal, the genocidal campaign against the Kurds in the 1980’s, that help us today with the current crisis? What is Kurdistan’s capacity to address a population-wide trauma.