Resources to support healing
NSW Refugee Health Service
The NSW Refugee Health Service aims to promote the health of people from a refugee background living in NSW by assisting refugees, and the health professionals who work with them.
Refugee Trauma & Recovery Program - UNSW Sydney
The Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program (RTRP) is a research program, within UNSW Sydney, dedicated to understanding the psychological and neurobiological effects of refugee trauma and pathways to recovery. RTRP has a clinic which provides free, confidential and culturally sensitive therapy to refugees with post-traumatic stress disorder, available to in Arabic, Farsi, Dari or English.To refer someone to the service visit www.rtrp-research.com/therapy. You can also contact RTRP directly at: email@example.com or 0477 407 752
Download a flyer about the RTRP Counselling Program here (PDF 367KB)
Mental Health Community Living Supports for Refugees
A community-based program located in seven Local Health Districts (LHDs) that provides support for refugees and asylum seekers with mental health issues to live and participate in the community in the way that they want to. Click here for a list of local providers.
STARTTS is a culturally relevant psychological treatment and support, and community interventions, to help people and communities heal the scars of torture and refugee trauma and rebuild their lives in Australia
Settlement Services International (SSI)
SSI is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential.
Phone: 02 8799 6700
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.ssi.org.au
SSI Ukraine response www.ssi.org.au/get-involved/current-affairs/ukraine-response
Refugee Council of Australia
The Refugee Council of Australia is the national umbrella body for refugees and people seeking asylum and those who support them.
Specialist Refugee Team for refugee students and their families
The Refugee Student Counselling Support Team offers psychological expertise to schools to support refugee students and their families.
Asylum Seekers Centre
The Asylum Seekers Centre provides practical and personal support for people living in the community who are seeking asylum.
Resources to learn more about refugees
Films to watch
Books to read
Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
Refugee education for NSW schools
Refugee Week is celebrated across Australia each year in June. Refugee Week promotes greater awareness of refugees, the issues they face and the contributions refugees are making to the Australian community.
The theme for Refugee Week 2022 is 'Healing'. Mainstream and refugee communities alike can draw upon shared hardship to heal wounds, to learn from each other and to move forward. Healing can occur through storytelling, through community and also through realisation of our intrinsic interconnectedness as individuals.
To find out more visit the Refugee Week website here.
Refugee Week TransFORUM - Current research & advances in the clinical healing of individuals with a refugee background
To mark Refugee Week, the Transcultural Mental Health Centre in collaboration with the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program (RTRP), invites all health service providers to learn about strategies that promote inclusive services and healing for refugee communities through RTRP and TMHC services.
Download a flyer about the webinar here. (PDF 234KB)
Register for the webinar here.
Story telling is a valuable tool to assist with healing. As part of the Transcultural Mental Health Centre's Shared Stories project a number of people with refugee backgrounds shared their stories of healing and recovery. You can read Clementina's and Tam's stories by clicking on the links below.
You can also find stories from the Refugee Council's Refugee Week Ambassadors here.
Clementina arrived in Australia as a refugee from Chile at 22.
"I grew up in Chile in a traditional family. My father was the breadwinner and my mother was a housewife and took care of us. I have a sister and two brothers.
My father worked very hard during his life. Before he retired he was a pilot; then after he retired, he was self-employed and owned and ran his own liquor shop...
One day, when I was at work the premise was occupied by the military. The soldiers threatened us with guns. This life-threatening situation was like a psychological earthquake for me. The total freedom of speech in Chile was abolished by this military coup.
At that time Canada, Australia, Sweden and Spain were all offering humanitarian visas to Chileans. As a consequence, I decided to migrate to another country. I applied to all of these countries. Australia was the one of the countries that accepted my application and the Australian Embassy provided a special flight for us to leave the country."
Read Clementina's full story here.
Tam came to Australia from Vietnam via New Zealand.
" I grew up in Vietnam until I was 10 years old. My family left Vietnam by boat through Indonesia. We stayed in a refugee camp for 10 months. Then we were told we had been accepted by New Zealand officials.
I started intermediate school in New Zealand at the age of 12. We were the only Vietnamese family in the whole town. The people in the town did not respect our culture. They were saying,”Arsehole”, “Jing”. The locals did not like us. We had to just ignore them. Life there was hard, because the locals did not accept us. It was very difficult to educate them about our culture. We had tried to do this, but failed.
At the beginning we experienced racism there, but then we became adapted. However the racism has had an impact on my mental wellbeing. I got very frustrated by New Zealand people and feeling suppressed about our culture. They were strange people. They suppressed me all the time. I felt I had to hold back my feelings and I got bottled up, which only built frustration..."
Read Tam's full story here.
Transcultural Mental Health Centre's Work with Refugees
The Transcultural Mental Health Centre works with refugee communities and health professionals to support the mental health of refugees across NSW. Follow the links below to find out more about our work with refugees and to view our resources to assist those working with refugees.