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Asylum Seekers

STARTTS provides a range of counselling and support services to asylum seekers in NSW. Please see below for a list of services according to their different living situations.

Asylum seekers in Australia can be particularly vulnerable to psychological and physical distress and can therefore be in need of support services. They can face long and uncertain periods of limbo waiting for a decision about their claims for protection to the Australian government, which can generate a lot of fear and anxiety.

Asylum seekers living in the community can face destitution and homelessness, while those in detention may see their symptoms exacerbated due to the denial of their freedom.

Learn more about asylum seekers

Asylum Seekers Living in the Community

Services provided by STARTTS include:

  • Providing psychological assessment, identifying client’s symptoms of torture and trauma and the capability to work. This is done at one of STARTTS offices in Sydney metropolitan areas and NSW.
  • Individual counselling support. This is also done at one of STARTTS’ offices or at one of our various outreach locations.
  • STARTTS sometimes runs group projects for asylum seekers.

STARTTS also provides training and support to workers and volunteers working with asylum seekers in the community. Refer to the Training section for more information.

SRSS Asylum seekers living in the community can be referred by their case manager. Clients who are not supported by any SRSS agency may refer themselves to STARTTS for services.

Asylum Seekers in Community Detention

Services provided by STARTTS include:

  • Individual counselling support. This is done at one of STARTTS’ offices or at one of our various outreach locations.
  • Group information sessions about managing trauma symptoms.

STARTTS also provides training and support to community detention workers and volunteers. Refer to the Training section for more information.

Asylum seekers living in community detention can refer themselves to STARTTS for services, or can be referred by an organisation or friend with the consent of the asylum seeker.

Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (IDC)

Services provided by STARTTS include:

  • Psychological assessments and reports on the mental health of the client. Currently done at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (VIDC).
  • Counselling support for 4 sessions. This is then subject to review and extended if needed. These are done at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (VIDC)..

Only the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) – International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) can refer detention centre clients for psychological assessments..

For counselling support, detention centre clients can refer themselves, or be referred by the DHA Case Worker, Mental Health Professional at Villawood IDC, IHMS Team or other services such as legal support and health professionals. All referrals must be coordinated by Villawood IDC and IHMS . If you would like to refer a detention centre client you can discuss this with STARTTS’ Direct Services Coordinator, Gordana Hol-Radicic on (02) 9646 6700 or email.