The Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and SEED Foundation Collaborate to Address Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Kurdistan

On 2 February 2021, his excellency Dr. Saman Barzanji, Minister of the KRG Ministry of Health and his deputy Dr. Rahel Abdulwahid welcomed Mrs. Sherri Kraham Talabany, the President of SEED Foundation.

In the meeting, SEED provided an overview on SEED Foundation’s portfolio and role in Kurdistan, with a focus on MHPSS services and importance in the region. SEED Foundation delivered the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Standard of Care Model in Kurdish, Arabic, and English, which is intended to promote improved services to some of the most vulnerable and violence-affected people in the world. SEED Foundation worked with a broad range of stakeholders to develop this guidance, which applies international standards for mental health tailored for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

SEED Foundation also shared 150 copies of Mental Health Awareness for Healthcare Workers poster in both Kurdish and Arabic languages. These posters are to be disseminated by the Ministry of Health through public health service providers to guide and raise awareness for healthcare workers and to give the opportunity to be in the frontline in identifying signs and symptoms as well as helping to address these issues, in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic.

H.E. Minister Dr. Saman reiterated the importance of SEED Foundation’s role towards MHPSS especially in the post-crisis era, elaborated further that the MHPSS services should be carried out and available throughout Kurdistan to the host community alongside IDPs and refugees. Additionally, Dr. Saman highlighted the need for healthcare workers to receive training and capacity building on the content of the Standard of Care Model to make sure it will be put into practice.

SEED Foundation has been working on these initiatives with the continuous support and funding from the United States Government.

Finally, both parties stressed on the need for collaboration and joint efforts in MHPSS. SEED’s President thanked Dr. Saman, and confirmed continued support from SEED Foundation to the Government and people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as well as thanking the entire healthcare workers of the ministry for their continuous support and dedication in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.