SEED’s Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support MHPSS at Koya University, was commissioned to deliver a six-month training program on Psychosocial Support for 12 staff members by the Serving and Learning Together (SALT) Foundation an NGO that supports the Iraqi Christian Churches and the Christian Communities. Their main services are income-generating projects, support of IDPs in time of hardship, training (vocational training and provide trauma care) and community development.
The PSS Training Program is an intensive training and supervision program that builds the skills of mental health and psychosocial support providers in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Participants of these events are professionals working in the field of MHPSS services including social workers, psychologists, case managers, psychosocial support workers, counselors, and those from other relevant professions working in both governmental and non-governmental organizations.
SEED’s Center for MHPSS custom designs training for NGOs to address the needs of their staff based on the work they do. NGOs can hire SEED to create and deliver training to their staff.
Over the six months, the program covered topics that are vital to providing better PSS services to those in need. Some of these topics included Psychosocial Impact of Conflict and Violence, Psychosocial First Aid, Sexual and Gender Based Violence as well as Suicide Prevention Assessment and Intervention amongst others. The program also covered 3 Foundational Paradigms which included, Human Rights Approach, Ecological Systems Theory, and Biopsychosocial Perspective.
Each of the nine-hour training sessions always finished with forty-five minutes of Self Care activities which included, meditation, deep breathing, and relaxing exercises. Attendees also participated in a one-hour Practice and Reflection session once a week to review the topics covered. SEED and the Centre for MHPSS also offered Supervision Sessions which allowed each participant to have a one on one sessions with a trained MHPSS professional. During these one on one sessions, attendees had the opportunity to address the challenges they face in the field, so that they could be discussed during the training and solutions to overcome them suggested. Every week, participants took a pre-training and post-training test to evaluate their progress over the week.
Upon completion of their program, participants were awarded certificates issued by the MHPSS Center at Koya University.