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Directorate of Health and Safety/ Social Unit


Social Unit is a place to address social and psychological problems students might experience at university. This can be done through providing psychosocial support services by skilled counsellors, social workers, and psychologists who might set a series of PSS sessions based on the standards and ethical codes by American Psychological Society (APA) and  the policies from the ministry of higher education. This program also includes activities to improve personal skills of students and staffs through conducting activities related to mental health awareness, creativity,  and personal skill. This results in a rise of the level of students' awareness of the environment they live in.


The program aims at providing a comfortable environment to the students through providing direct psychosocial support services inside universities. As a result of the stress of studying and panics of the exams, students might feel unsafe at some point. Further the recent crisis and situation in Kurdistan Region of Iraq and instability in terms of political, ISIS, Finance and security and conflict, students are found to be more affected and in need to PSS services. Thus, the program is to meet the needs of students to get through the hard times. Further, this program aims at improve the 12 life skills outlined by WHO in students which will reduce the emotional, social, and mental health problems.


All universities need to provide a safe place for Social Unit (One place for administration and some other safe and comfortable rooms to conduct PSS sessions). The rooms where the service is given needs to be separated from other staff rooms and while the service is given no one should have access to it (Only the client and the service giver should be there).

All the university staffs should be informed to not conduct any PSS session with any students apart from the care providers in the PSS unit.


Ethical principles:

The services are based on the standards of APA (Codes of Ethics). Confidentiality is taken into account. Every service giver is responsible of his/her clients and should not share any information to anyone except his/her clinical supervisor anonymously. The service giver needs to avoid providing any identifiable information to his/her supervisor. To meet this criteria, every employee who works in this unit should sign an agreement from the directorate of health at university agreeing on this point.


The unit is accessible for anyone who needs psychosocial support . Due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues, students might find it difficult to seek help when they need. However, this can be addressed through conducting  seminars and activities in relation to mental and social problems and the unit can be recognisable in return. Advertisement can take place in a professional way too.


Those who work in the unit have experiences and skills in counselling, psychology, sociology and mental health. They have a degree or background in related fields or they come from different background yet have experiences in the related fields.

Clients with suicidal thoughts and/or Plans:

In the case of suicide, the service provider need to break the confidentiality and communicate that to the client directly in a good way. The service provider need to explain that to the client in the first session and informing them about the rules he/she follows e.g. informing them that everything is confidential , yet he/she breaks confidentiality at the three circumstances identified by APA. The service provider have a safety plan for the client immediately and inform the client's family and his/her own supervisor.

Appointments and Sessions:

Appointment system is needed. Every service provider needs to have a clear schedule and an appointment list  with their clients based on their working hours.

Psychosocial support Sessions:

Each session should be no more than 45 min and needs to be structured in a standard way includes:

·         First Session Introduction, filling forms and taking information and history, and planning next session.

·         Other Sessions:  (Recap and homework review, points to discuss, and summary).

·         Final Session: Recap and review homework, discussion, and summary of the whole sessions.


The Social Units at Charmo university has a supervisor who conducts regular supervision sessions with care providers . The supervisor has an individual and a group session with the care providers every two weeks. In the supervision sessions consultations and case presentations will be covered.

Documentation Procedures:

All the data is kept confidential and no personal computer is used for entering data, if used it should be locked and not accessible by externals. The final data is reported to the directorate of health and safety at Charmo University anonymously in a year basis.

Other Responsibilities:

The staff of Psychosocial Unit needs to be active, supportive and very responsive to the requests from students. They need to hold seminars to raise mental health awareness. They also need to be responsive at times of crisis and accidents such as; fire accident to contact people who were witnessing and see if they need any psychological support.