Just over a year has passed since SEED and Koya University opened the Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) and we have made tremendous progress. We've had 24 service providers graduate from the Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) Training Program, empowered with new skills and the practical experience that resulted from receiving clinical supervision. We already have 27 participants enrolled for our next session, which began last week. We trained nine faculty members of Koya University on trauma psychology, supervision, and interactive teaching methods.

Sixty-five students are now studying under a strengthened undergraduate Clinical Psychology Program (CPP). Two new courses were added: Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Trauma Psychology. And finally, twenty psychology undergraduates are taking the trauma one-year specialization and will graduate this summer ready to work, meeting the needs of the most affected. We are also excited about our new director, Dr. Maggie Zraly, and two instructors who, between them, bring decades of experience working with conflict affected populations and survivors of violence. Please read more on the achievements the Center for MHPSS has made in 2017.

Shifting from a traditional way of teaching to an interactive on

When learning is interactive, it gives the learners the opportunity to think about the information in a new way and practically apply it to their lives. At universities throughout the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, we often see that classes are taught in a traditional way using lecture as the primary teaching mechanism, leaving little room for debate or critical thinking.

In September 2017, the Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services at Koya University held a two-day workshop with the Clinical Psychology Department staff of Koya University to assist faculty in making their courses more interactive to enhance learning among Clinical Psychology students. Dr. Azad Ali, the Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Koya University, emphasized  that participants were very happy with the training. “They decided to implement various techniques they have learned from the training in their classroom. They found using these techniques to be useful in engaging students.”

The workshop helped faculty to consider ways they can transform a traditional lecture into an interactive one. Throughout the two days, the participants became familiar with new techniques they can use with their students to make the material more practical, which ultimately will help these students to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.

24 students graduate from the PSS Training Program

The Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) at Koya University graduated its first 24 students from the Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) Training Program on Sunday, November 19th at Koya University.

The Graduation Day included a morning of learning where we brought students and supervisors together in focus groups to learn more about their experiences and receive their feedback for continuing to strengthen the PSS Training and to learn in which ways the PSS Training Program has improved their skills at work and with clients. The students described how their skills, practices, and beliefs were transformed by the six month training course, especially by the clinical supervision they received throughout the program, where supervisors from the Center for MHPSS, provided hands-on guidance and advice as they worked with  clients . The day ended with a festive graduation ceremony with remarks from US Consul-General, Ken Gross, President of Koya University, Dr. Wali Hamad, and President of SEED, Sherri Kraham Talabany.


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SEED Making Progress in  Education and Training for MHPSS Professionals