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

Services provided to older people

  • Individual counselling support. This is done at one of STARTTS’ offices or at one of our various outreach locations.
  • Self support groups.
  • Older Person’s in Cultural Transition (OPICT) program.

Issues faced

Australia has been accepting humanitarian entrants since the end of World War II, and many other people from refugee-like backgrounds have settled in Australia through the skilled migration program, including family reunion.

Many of these people are now ageing. As people age and their cognitive function and short-term memory declines, the mechanisms that kept the traumatic memories under control may weaken. They may experience the resurfacing of painful memories and be more vulnerable to flashbacks. They may lose second language (English) competence and revert to their mother tongue.

As physical problems limit mobility, ageing trauma survivors may experience increased social isolation, depression and feelings of cultural dislocation.

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