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Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS)


the brief:

The Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS) is a prominent organisation dedicated to providing specialised mental health and community capacity building services to individuals from refugee backgrounds who have endured torture or trauma. With three decades of experience, ASeTTS has supported tens of thousands of refugees, aiming to facilitate healing and aid in the rebuilding of their lives in Australia. ASeTTS serves a diverse clientele, including refugees, asylum seekers, humanitarian entrants, permanent protection visa holders, and Australian residents with refugee backgrounds.


ASeTTS holds a unique position as the sole provider of torture and trauma rehabilitation services in Western Australia and one of only eight such providers across the country. Beyond direct rehabilitation services, ASeTTS also offers formal training and education to community members and professionals working with refugee newcomers, striving to enhance the quality and cultural competence of services provided to torture and trauma survivors.


To ensure equitable access to their services in regional areas of Western Australia, ASeTTS initiated a research project led by Jenny Gleeson, focusing on engaging regional communities and understanding the following:


1. Assessing Need and Demand: To determine the extent of demand for ASeTTS services in regional areas of Western Australia.

2. Community Service Landscape: To gain insights into the existing community service infrastructure in regional areas.

3. Optimal Service Models: To identify the most suitable service delivery models for individuals from refugee backgrounds in regional areas.

4. Training and Professional Development: To explore the interest or necessity for targeted training, professional development, or consultative support for professionals and communities in regional areas to better serve ethno linguistically diverse populations, including refugees.


To achieve these objectives, Jenny Gleeson adopted the following strategies:


1. Research Partner: Led the research project to gather data from regional areas.

2. Community Engagement: Actively involving regional communities in the research process, seeking their perspectives and insights into the unique needs and challenges faced by refugees and torture survivors in these areas.

3. Service Model Exploration: Evaluating various service delivery models and considering their cultural appropriateness and effectiveness in regional settings.

4. Training Assessment: Assessing the interest and need for specialised training and professional development programs to enhance the capacity of regional professionals in working with ethno linguistically diverse populations, including refugees.


Three Parts came from this research:


Results - Part I: Assessing Regional Service Delivery Approaches

In Part I of this Report, we focused on assessing the strategies employed by sister agencies regarding regional service delivery. The objective was to explore the potential for replicating their successful service models in the Southwest of Western Australia. This section provided valuable insights into the approaches adopted by these agencies, offering a foundation for further discussions and potential implementation in the Southwest.

Results - Part II: Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Response Training

Part II of this Report highlighted concerns related to domestic violence cases. Within this section, we compiled an A - Z Directory of Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Specialists. This directory serves as a valuable resource, presenting potential partners for ASeTTS to collaborate with in delivering FDV response training to service providers based in the Southwest. The directory aimed to enhance the capabilities of service providers in addressing domestic violence within the torture and trauma survivor community.

Results - Part III: Directory of Southwest Service Providers

Part III is a comprehensive A – Z Directory of Service Providers and parties of interest operating in the Southwest. These entities directly or indirectly offer services to torture and trauma survivors, engage in employment, education, training, or support activities, or have a vested interest in their well-being. This directory serves as a valuable reference, enabling ASeTTS to identify and collaborate with relevant stakeholders and service providers in the Southwest, ultimately enhancing support and services for this vulnerable population.


Through this research project, ASeTTS endeavours to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals from refugee backgrounds in regional Western Australia, ensuring they have equitable access to essential mental health services and support.



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