Thursday, 18 May 2023
Media release

Increased mental health support for refugee survivors of torture and trauma

​​​Joint media release with the Hon E​mma McBride MP

The Albanese Labor Government is providing $136.0 million over four years, and $36.0 million ongoing, for torture and trauma services to help support refugees with their psychological issues arising from their often traumatic experiences before arriving in Australia.

The internationally recognised Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT) provides tailored counselling, advocacy and referrals to health and other services, education and training of health and service providers, and regional and remote outreach services.

This funding includes resources to help specialist services deliver culturally appropriate care, activities to build the trauma informed workforce, and continued support for community engagement.

Participants can engage with PASTT at any time after their arrival in Australia. This offers survivors the opportunity to establish their lives in Australia and seek support when they need it most.

To address this, funding includes interpreting services for PASTT so people can access care in their preferred language.

The Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma delivers the program through eight rehabilitation agencies which are located in each state and territory.

Specialist PASTT providers have proven records of delivering high-quality, effective and culturally appropriate services, and offer more than 9,000 individual and family counselling sessions each year.

This investment provides targeted care to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Read more about PASTT.

Quotes attributable to Minister Giles: 

“For almost 30 years, PASTT has supported refugee survivors of torture and trauma across Australia.

“Everyone’s journey to Australia is different, and the flexibility of PASTT allows the program to meet the needs of survivors- regardless of where they live or the length of time they’ve spent in Australia.

“The Albanese Government is committed to ensuring Australia’s settlement support services are the best in the world.” 

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McBride:

"All Australians deserve access to mental health and wellbeing supports that are tailored to their needs.

“Founded in 1995, PASTT is a vital part of Australia's settlement scaffold and a world leader in culturally safe and tailored mental health and wellbeing support.

“This investment will provide the right support at the right time, to help people cope with the impact of trauma so they can rebuild their lives and grow a sense of community belonging in Australia.”