The three primary objectives of SEED’s Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) services are to strengthen emotional wellbeing, social wellbeing, and skills and knowledge, with the result being more resilient individuals. At SEED, we understand that these three areas are tied together in most cases and need to be addressed holistically to positively impact wellbeing.
To achieve these objectives, we offer a variety of activities, including psychoeducation groups to better understand mental health, recreational activities to provide the space for people to form relationships, and awareness sessions on critical information regarding services and resources.
These activities do not offer a fix for the participants’ problems; instead, they provide them with the ability to deal with them. Joshua Lee, SEED’s PSS Technical Advisor, says, “PSS is about the relationships you get, the feeling of belonging. Because so many of the people that have been affected by conflict, violence, trauma, and displacement especially, have the sense that they no longer belong somewhere.”
To build these lasting relationships, SEED’s service delivery team ensures they have repeated interactions with community members. These interactions can be in the form of PSS activities or short phone calls just to check in and ask, “What’s up?” It does not matter how well the first meeting goes. Building these relationships takes time and requires consistent outreach, but the results are worth it.
SEED considers the relationship to be the vehicle of the PSS activities instead of the side product. This holistic approach has helped SEED build a trusting relationship with the families in the communities, significantly improving SEED’s PSS activities in terms of numbers of attendees and quality of services.
Parents are more open to SEED staff interacting with their children during PSS activities, because they themselves have benefitted from previous PSS activities with and trust our team. They have also reached out to SEED staff themselves, asking if there are any PSS activities they or their children can participate in.
“While this year, under COVID, has been difficult for us all, our teams in the community have worked extremely hard to maintain and build further SEED’s relationships in the communities that we serve. It’s paying off, despite the limitations we are serving more people and getting requests for new activities,” says Joshua.