SEED was very pleased to have Holly Aldrich and Barbara Hamm with us from the US, bringing with them decades of experience working with victims of violence and other traumatic events.

The primary goal of their visit was to participate as technical advisors on our Board for the Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services at Koya University. This program will strengthen the skills of new Clinical Psychology graduates and mental health workers through a new PSS Training program, to be officially launched in January. Working with policy makers and practitioners in mental health in Kurdistan, we discussed how best to teach, learn, train, and build the capacity of our current and future work force. We also talked about how to use the Center to work together with others to reflect on what’s working and what’s not and to develop lessons learned about best strategies to address the mental health needs emerging out of our current crisis and the violence, loss, and displacement that has resulted, along with past decades of violence and conflict.


Holly and Barbara worked with SEED staff providing emotional support to all of us, capacity building with SEED’s team, and conducted several training workshops on traumatic grief and loss and how we can work with survivors of violence to help their healing and recovery.  These workshops were attended by SEED psychologists and mental health workers from other NGOs and the government.

Babylon FM

They also did a series of events to help us create awareness about mental health issues and how we can promote healing in our society including this great appearance on Babylon FM and a film which we will put out next month as part of our ‘trauma series’.

Thank you Holly and Barbara for bringing all of your experience, sound advice, soothing approach, warmth, openness and generosity to Kurdistan.  We all grew with you this week!