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Last updated: December 7, 2023

CVT Iraq

CVT’s work in Iraq has been centered around improving individual, family and community resilience through interdisciplinary, trauma-focused mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services as well as active engagement in ongoing justice and human rights efforts. In the aftermath of conflict, and even while it may continue, these are important methods of supporting healing and resilience. The CVT Iraq team has worked closely with local partners in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Federal Iraq, engaging in capacity development of local providers, as well as a collaborative process to help heal the wounds of torture, human rights violations and violent conflict. CVT also offers staff care services and training for local providers supporting survivors and advocating for their rights.

Trauma-Focused Services
From 2020-2023, CVT Iraq trained local professionals to offer interdisciplinary mental health and psychosocial support, physiotherapy and social services to individuals and families impacted by human rights violations and violent conflict. Specialized mental health care that has been adapted to each local context improves clients’ symptoms related to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while strengthening positive coping strategies and resilience. CVT’s trauma-focused physiotherapy interventions help individuals manage torture and conflict related injuries in addition to the physical impact mental health disorders have on the body. Clinical teams work together using an interdisciplinary approach to ensure healing is holistic and effective, helping clients to rebuild their lives. The teams raise awareness of the impacts of trauma through community outreach and strengthen social support and connections to resources for adults, children and families, including facilitation of referral services as needed.

I am personally in awe of the team’s dedication and hard work, learning as they go and responding to uncertainty.”

Sara Pearce, clinical advisor for mental health

Capacity Development & Sustainability
In Iraq, qualified teams specializing in interdisciplinary trauma rehabilitation are scarce. Despite the reports of systemic social stressors, historical trauma and intergenerational violence, there is limited emphasis on child and family dynamics or trauma-focused care. CVT Iraq offers capacity development opportunities for local providers to sustainably deliver appropriate MHPSS, an important aspect in promoting the long-term delivery of trauma-informed services to conflict-affected populations.

Advocacy, Justice & Human Rights
Working closely with local partners, CVT engages with efforts to strengthen human rights and pursue justice for survivors of violations.