The Program for Mental Health and Psychological Support Services run at Koya University

News #14, Issue 38Feb 2018| Núcey #14, Jhimarey 38, Mangí 2 Sallí 2018 | نوچەی 14، ژمارەى 38  مانگی 2 ساڵی 2018

The Mental Health and Psychological Support Service Center is a learning setting, which supports mental health and psychological practitioners to acquire new skills. Also it is an appropriate environment to have arguing education and continue for providers in order to increase the quality of the mental health and psycho social service providers in Kurdistan Reign.

Maggie says that "a part of our programs is providing psycho social serves which is a training program. The center and the training program with the center itself is a project that supported by SEED Foundation and Koya University together and it is was founded by the US government and funded by the US State Department.

A part of the idea with the Psychological Support Service Training Program is to increase psychological and social knowledge of the participants not only to give them training, and building skills but also there is a second component of the program which is supervision, so it a training supervision together. The whole program that participants will go through is for applicants anywhere in Kurdistan Region and Iraq and it is for four to six months that includes four intensive weeks of training program which is about a month.

Between those intensive weeks of training Maggie is the director of the Center for Mental Health and Psychological Support Services here at Koya University. The center was opened in January, 2017, so a group of 25 participants graduated and celebrated their graduation ceremony at the end of the year. Also, since January 2018 another group of 27 participants has started training on supervision and they will graduate sometime in May.


First, they are training methods, so training is really the interaction of the methods which are not for all lectures. However, it is using key features of team work exercise and role play skills and they really engage practitioners to practicing what they are learning immediately and interact with the material as well as bringing their own ways of learning and experiences into the classroom so as to engage them in an interactive style of teaching, that is what the training is all about. Second, the training also includes supervision which is the second part of the teaching style for both groups; teachers supervise on one to one style and have office hours with the participants in places that they work in.

Who are the participants?

Participants are those characters and professional people who help the victims and those in need, especially services providers, and psychological support providers. This may be people like sociologist, social workers and those people who work in non-governmental organizations on mental health and psychological support services. In addition, psycho-social service providers are sometimes those who have already graduated from university and work as sociologists and social workers that are another kind of helping professionals.

Moreover, those people who have already had their own job are coming here to learn new skills and improve their abilities, so that they will be able to apply them later to increase the quality of mental health psychological support services in Kurdistan Reign which is of course it increases the skills of those participants and improve their supervision skills. When the trainees come back into the classroom for training for new skills their training, supervision classes and practices increase their skills. Finally, after finished this training course they will graduate and get certificates at Koya University in the field of mental health and psychological support services.

Maggie says it is worth mentioning that we all support the Clinical Psychology Program at Koya University and some of their students, who are undergraduates in the program that we support, are also going into some supervisors’ classes and training sessions and they are learning to apply things that they are studying in the classroom during the training course.

They have two different programs and one of them is psychological support training professionals in Erbil. To support the ones who are studying here right now, they have opportunity to do supervision in settings of their previous job and in their education in fourth year as well as support this way of service providing.

Furthermore, the next generation of mental health psychological serves provides are coming up through schools.

The subjects

Throughout the four weeks of training, different topics are taught, so it is almost everything from key management to value, affects, child protection, crises intervention to trauma, infant care and so on.

Who support them?

Maggie states that the center (SEED Foundation), we have had training courses in Erbil and are doing programs in the whole Kurdistan Region to bridge this gap and provide victims and those in need with the psychological support services.

As part of a big organization we provide some direct services delivery across Kurdistan Region, but we also know that just beginning that so many providers and helping professionals can also use their skills to increase the quality of their skills. Now we only provide them with training courses so that they can provide the affected mental health and psychological support services in special circumstances in Kurdistan Region. So, direct serves of education and training need to be available to those who are working on the next generation of the upcoming students.

The SEED Foundation

What SEED Foundation has done so far in partnership with Koya University, has built this relationship and this center here which is an appropriate learning environment. The SEED Foundation in cooperation with Koya University have created this learning environment that really encourage any mental health and psychological service providers in Kurdistan to access us in order to know what kind of programs are provided here in this center. We have had this vision of activities that provide services in the center which bring about professions that put learning first for mental health and psychological support services.

Prepared by : Bnar Rashid
Translated by : Koya University Translation Unit (TRU)