The SEED Foundation with the support of the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs has opened the Center for Mental health and Psychological Support Services at Koya University. The purpose of the center is to train academic staff so as to offer the best mental health and psychological support services to the psychological patients in Kurditan. 

On 31st of January, 2017, the Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region, the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Minister of Health, the American General Consul to Erbil, some Parliament Members of Kurdistan Region, the Mayor of Koya and plenty of Koya University staff attended the opening ceremony of Mental Health and Psychological Support Service Center at the presidency building of Koya University.

 At the beginning, the president of Koya University Dr Wali Mahmood Hamad welcomed the guests and presented his speech. 

The speech of Koya University president 

Honourable guests 
Ladies and gentlemen 

I warmly welcome you all, on behalf of the Koya University council and all those who have worked hard to hold this ceremony which makes us to gather together here in this ceremony. 

Alive nations make history, but those nations who only remain in the memory of their history, are dead. 

Today, Koya University is excited that our shared humanity and humanitarian assistance have made us to be able to work with the SEED Organization which comes from the United States with the support of their Foreign Affairs Department and their Consul to Kurdistan Region in order to support our university and take a joint action on a case which we are really in need of in our current situation. As you know, ISIS and other similar groups have caused a lot of catastrophe for the people of Iraq and Syria and damaged our citizens’ psychological states, they have committed such notorious crimes and illegal actions that humanity feel ashamed of narrating and discussing them. 

Koya University staff have already realized that, since Kurdistan Region and Iraq have been faced with terror attacks, warfare and political instability. Therefore, we have been in need of a department of clinical psychology. However, due to lack of specialized academic professionals in this scope and becoming the only department in its kind in Iraq and Kurdistan Region, we had the fear of facing inability to continue in this field and stay in our professional and practical status. Nevertheless, God has opened the door of this relationship and agreement which we are really hopeful and excited about for this project. 

This center will focus on the following three aspects: 

- Renewing and reviewing the curriculum of the Department of Clinical Psychology. 

- Training teachers of the department in new practical methods, psychological treatments of patients and dealing with psychological cases appropriately as well as developing the skills of the specialized professionals in this field. 

- After that, the trained teachers will become instructors and trainers of other staff who work in the practical arena of this field. 

On this occasion and in this ceremony I would like to ask the SEED Organization, its co-workers and supporters to support our university and cooperate with us as we are really in need of such help and support in order to bring and hire academic professionals and experts in the field of clinical psychology for two main reasons: (firstly, to teach at this department and secondly, help the department in opening a graduate school and supervising the graduate students in this field) as we require more academic professionals in this department. 

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Ms. Sherry and Ms. Tanyagli and their colleagues in SEED Organization. And I really appreciate the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for his support in this project. I also want to thank the vice-presidents of Koya University Dr Sa’eed, Dr Haidar and the head of Clinical Psychology Dr Azad for their hard work and continuous efforts. 

Thank you again and God bless you all. 

After that, the head of the SEED Foundation Mrs. Sherry K. Talabani presented her speech and stated that “opening this center is an important step taken to offer the mental, psychological and social support services to the people of Kurdistan in which its citizens have undergone several political, social and economic crises. Those crises have had negative impacts on their psychological states and thus we try our best to train academic staff in this major according to our capacity so that they can play positive roles in helping and supporting the psychological patients. Special thanks should go to the SEED Foundation and Koya University for their continuous efforts and hard work in opening this center”. 

Finally, The American General Consul to Erbil Mr. Ken Gross spoke at the ceremony and stated that “I am honoured today to have me here at the opening ceremony of this Center which will be a great support for a better community. We have offered our support for opening this Center faithfully, because we suppose that it is an important necessity for the Iraqi community which has experienced several difficult situations and the last one is the trauma of Da’esh war. I hope that you will succeed in your missions and duties in this Center.

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Koya University facilitates a Mental Health and Psychological Support Center