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

Free, independent and confidential support

Call Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm

1800 845 198

Witness to War supports and assists individuals and families in NSW directly exposed or otherwise impacted by overseas conflict, with a focus on the Afghan community and Ukrainian community, based on the understanding that conflicts can have detrimental impacts locally. The service works on the knowledge that individuals, families and communities directly exposed or otherwise impacted by overseas conflicts may present a range of health, social and other issues. Read an article about the program.

View SBS Video about Witness to War

Assistance provided via the multilingual telephone support line may involve:

  • An initial needs assessment
  • Accidental counselling
  • Information provision
  • Referral

View program videos in English, Ukrainian and Farsi

Download a project flyer in community languages:

Frequently Asked Questions

The Witness to War multilingual telephone helpline supports people who are experiencing difficulties because they have been affected by overseas conflicts. People can feel the impact in different ways, and may experience health, social and practical issues. The helpline is for individuals, families and communities which are distressed about overseas events, friends and family abroad, need someone to talk to, or need help finding information about useful services and support.

Anyone in NSW can call; there is no restriction on visa type, date of arrival to Australia, country of birth, or age.

Overseas conflicts and crises can affect people in different ways. If you or your family members have been directly exposed to or impacted by overseas conflicts you may feel stressed, anxious or sad and overwhelmed. This can impact on your health and everyday living. Some common issues that people may need support with include employment, financial, legal and migration issues, health and housing.

When you phone the service, you will speak with someone who will ask you what language you would like to speak, and they will then transfer you to a bicultural worker who speaks your language. If there is no-one that speaks your language at that time, we will arrange professional telephone Interpreters.

Witness to War Bicultural Client Support Workers speak many languages including Ukrainian, Russian, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, and Urdu.  Our staff are friendly, caring and there to listen to you. Many of our staff will have an understanding of your culture and awareness of some of the issues that you may have faced.

A bicultural worker will ask you about your concerns and offer information and practical support.  The type of support you receive varies and is based on your needs. It might simply be someone to talk to, share your concerns and worries, or information about services or community organisations that can help you with your specific issues. For example, a bicultural worker might share contact details and phone numbers of various services that can support you and help you deal with the difficulties that you are your family members are experiencing. Witness to War will continue to provide assistance until you are linked in and connected to the relevant service.

Call Witness to War on 1800 845 198, the service operates Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm.

If you need to speak with someone outside of these hours, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 and ask for an interpreter. If you or someone you know is in danger and needs help immediately call 000, or contact the appropriate specialist crisis intervention services.

This will depend on your reason for calling. Our staff will be guided by you and will help point you in the right direction.

This is a telephone-based service only. If you prefer to speak with someone in person, we can help link you in with other services that can provide this support.

Our services are confidential. You do not need to provide identifying details. Your conversation between you and our staff will be kept private. If you would like a follow-up care, we may record the details to provide appropriate support when necessary. We will not share information about you or this call without your consent unless we have concerns that you or someone else is at risk.

There is no cost, our services are free of charge.

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