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NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors

Anyone can make a referral to STARTTS, including service providers, medical professionals, a family member or friend of the person or the person themselves.

Call (02) 9646 6800 – Ask for the Intake Counsellor

OR, complete the STARTTS Referral Form and send via:
Email: stts-intakegeneral@health.nsw.gov.au

Download Referral Form

Who are STARTTS’ services for?

STARTTS’ services are for people who have survived torture and/or trauma and are:

  • Refugees
  • Asylum seekers
  • From refugee-like backgrounds.

They must be living in NSW. The person can be any age and can have been living in Australia for any length of time, from a few days to many decades.

What is trauma?

Trauma, or traumatic experiences, cause great stress, pain and/or fear for a person. Traumatic events can disrupt or disturb a person’s health and everyday living. STARTTS is particularly concerned with trauma that happens as part of organised violence, such as in war, civil conflict and government oppression.

Who can make a referral to STARTTS?

Anyone can make a referral to STARTTS including the person themselves, a family member or friend or another service provider.

Service providers must have the consent of their client before making a referral to STARTTS. If you are referring a child (up to and including 16 years of age) you must also complete the Parental Consent form.

For a more detailed presentation about making a referral please click here. Please note that STARTTS is happy to deliver this material through face-to-face training for organisations. Go to the Request Training page for further information.

What do STARTTS’ services cost?

STARTTS services are free of charge.

Who is NOT suitable for STARTTS’ services?

STARTTS is not a crisis service. If you or someone you know needs help right now please telephone:

  • your local mental health service (see the Community Health Centre in your local area)
  • your nearest hospital
  • the police

If it is an emergency call 000.

Please call the free telephone interpreter service (TIS) on 13 14 50 if you need help with English/interpreting.

STARTTS does not provide services for people whose MAIN problem is drug and alcohol or domestic violence related. We will direct clients with these issues to other appropriate services. We will work with other services to provide joint services for refugees and asylum seekers with drug and alcohol or domestic violence issues.

Where does STARTTS provide its services?

STARTTS provides face-to-face services in its main offices in Carramar, Fairfield, Auburn, Liverpool, Blacktown, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Wollongong, Wagga Wagga and Armidale. STARTTS also provides telehealth services.

See our Contact page for details of each of these offices.

STARTTS also provides outreach services in a range of locations across the Sydney metropolitan area and regional NSW. Please contact the Carramar office for outreach locations.

Our child and adolescent counsellors will also see young clients at school.

Which STARTTS services can I request/refer people to?

You can refer people to our

  • Counselling Program
  • Camps for children and young people (limited places available)
  • Group programs
  • Group exercise programs
  • Behavioural activation program/ exercise
  • Nutrition program

Waiting periods for our services vary, depending on demand. Our counselling services have a managed waiting list, meaning the people in greatest need will be seen first: we use a priority checklist to support this process.

Which STARTTS services can’t I request/refer people to?

You can’t refer people directly to our:

  • Physiotherapy and other bodywork services
  • Psychiatrists
  • Acupuncture Clinic
  • Neurofeedback Clinic

Only STARTTS’ counsellors can refer internally to these STARTTS services.

What information should I have to make a referral/request a service?

The more of the following information you provide, the easier it is to request a service/make a referral.

  • name
  • sex m/f
  • date of birth
  • marital status
  • name of spouse
  • number of children, their age and sex
  • address
  • phone number
  • when you/he or she arrived in Australia
  • visa category and subclass number
  • country of birth
  • nationality
  • preferred languages.

If you are requesting a general counselling service then it will also be helpful to know:

  • trauma history
  • reason for referral, including the background to the current problem
  • any other organisations you/the person is involved with.

Remember to complete the Parental Consent form if you are referring a child (up to and including 16 years of age).

What if I/the person I’m referring can’t speak English?

Together, STARTTS’ staff speak more than 20 languages. When a counsellor can’t speak the language of a client, we will organise a qualified interpreter.

Where else can I go/send someone for help?

Australian Red Cross

Provides food, shelter and health care to eligible asylum seekers. The Red Cross also provides an international tracing service to help families separated because of war or other disasters and a tracing and messaging service to detainees in government immigration detention facilities.

02 9229 4111

Asylum Seeker Centre

Services include emergency accommodation, primary health care and physiotherapy, English classes, art classes, regular excursions, internet access and many other practical supports. Services are for asylum seekers living in NSW only.

02 9361 5606

Department of Community Services Helpline

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who is concerned about a child’s safety.

132 111

Homeless Persons Information Centre

Provides immediate advice and information as well as referrals to crisis accommodation to people in NSW. Open 9 am to 10 pm, 7 days per week.

Sydney 02 925 9087
Elsewhere in NSW 1800 234 566

House of Welcome

Provides assistance to people on Temporary Protection Visas and Bridging Visa E including emergency accommodation, English classes, computer classes, employment assistance, medical support, legal support and other services.

Phone 02 9727 9290

Legal Aid

Free legal advice and representation for people on limited incomes.

1300 888 529

Refugee Advice and Casework Service

Provides free legal services to asylum seekers in Australia

02 9211 4001

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