IOM’s first Masters in Psychosocial Counseling in Nigeria aims to benefit victims of conflict – Nigeria

Maiduguri – People affected by conflict will benefit from the help of graduates of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) First Professional Masters Program in Psychosocial Counseling and Conflict Transformation in Nigeria. The degree is offered in partnership with the Center for Peace, Diplomacy and Development Studies at Maiduguri University and aligns with IOM’s Global Strategy on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) .

“With more than 7.9 million people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance in this region, mental health and psychosocial support are an essential part of humanitarian responses to populations displaced by conflict, climate change, famine and poverty, ”said Olga Rebolledo, IOM Nigeria. MHPSS Program Manager, when the program launches this week.

“Displacement can bring several sources of stress to the individuals, families and communities involved,” she said.

The program aims to help professional humanitarian workers gain knowledge about a range of psychosocial issues in humanitarian responses to societies of displacement, migration and conflict in Borno State, northeast Nigeria. It was developed to localize the community response in terms of mental health and psychosocial support, while raising awareness and strengthening the national capacities of humanitarian actors.

IOM has also piloted similar university programs in Lebanon with the Lebanese University, as well as summer schools and specialized courses in psychosocial interventions. The initiatives feed into the Organization’s strategy to build capacity at the state level and improve the quality of MHPSS services in each country.

“The partnership with Maiduguri University has evolved through IOM’s emergency response, supporting populations affected by more than a decade of protracted conflict,” said Vedharaniyam Karuppiah, head of the IOM’s sub-office. ‘IOM in Nigeria in Maiduguri. “It’s an effective exit strategy. enable government partners to move forward by investing in people capable of responding to their communities in need.

Already 30 students have registered for the program and will start classes immediately. More students will be admitted next year.

“One of the main objectives of the program is to identify and conceptualize the threats to personal and social well-being created by displacement, migration and conflict,” said Prof. Abubakar Mua’zu, director of the Center for studies on peace, diplomacy and development.

The program was validated in 2019 by key government and humanitarian partners working in the area of ​​SMSPS, as well as academics from the University. An e-learning feature has been included to facilitate deployment in response to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

The design, conceptualization and launch of the master’s program received funding from the Humanitarian Aid Office (BHA) -USAID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


IOM is committed to the principle of humane and orderly migration for the benefit of migrants and society. IOM has been actively engaged in providing psychosocial support for decades, developing interventions, training and research projects in more than 70 countries around the world. IOM’s SMSPS activities are overseen by a section dedicated to mental health, psychosocial response and intercultural communication.

* For more information, please contact: Stylia Kampani at IOM Nigeria, Tel. : +234 906 273 9168, E-mail: [email protected] *

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