Mental health issues continue to rise in Iraq, and particularly in Kurdistan, due to the high numbers of individuals who have experienced various forms of trauma such as protracted displacement and exposure to violence. Specialized services are lacking, but are critical to address the mental health needs of the most vulnerable.
SEED prioritizes building the capacity of our mental health staff, providing high quality services in line with international standards, and implementing best practices. As a result, SEED regularly invests in training and professional development opportunities to increase staff expertise in evidence-based techniques and interventions.
SEED is proud to announce that six of our psychologists have completed a two-year training course with local organization Green Desert on the innovative psychotherapy treatment Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is an evidence-based treatment where bilateral stimulation, such as repetitive eye movement or tapping, is used to treat clients with severe mental health symptoms. This type of mental health treatment aims to facilitate non-verbal processing and alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.
SEED’s psychologists, who have completed the full three-level training course offered by Green Desert, are among the few practitioners certified to provide this therapy in Iraq. They are now able to implement this unique trauma intervention in individual and group settings with children and adults who are experiencing trauma-related symptoms, including depression and anxiety. This intervention will enhance SEED’s mental health services and better equip our psychologists to treat complex mental health issues among some of Kurdistan’s most vulnerable populations.