NSW SERVICE FOR THE TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION OF TORTURE AND TRAUMA SURVIVORS
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Asylum Seekers

Asylum Seekers

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

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 Living in the Community

Services provided by STARTTS include:

  •  Assessments for eligibility for the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme. This assessment looks at the client’s symptoms of torture and trauma and the capability to work. This is done at the Red Cross offices in Surry Hills and Parramatta.
  • Individual counselling support. This is 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.

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

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. These are only done at STARTTS’ Carramar office.
  • Counselling support for 4 sessions. This is then subject to review and extended if needed. These are only done at STARTTS’ Carramar office.

Only the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) can refer detention centre clients for psychological assessments.

For counselling support, detention centre clients can refer themselves, or be referred by the DIAC Case Worker, the Villawood IDC Mental Health Team or other services such as legal support and health professionals. All referrals must be coordinated by the Villawood IDC Mental Health Team as all detention centre clients are transported to STARTTS by detention centre personnel. If you would like to refer a detention centre client you can discuss this with STARTTS’ Direct Services Coordinator, Gordana Hol-Radicic on (02) 9794 1900 or email.