For the past two years, the impact of the global COVID pandemic has been felt particularly severely by the individuals and communities supported by FASSTT agencies.
FASSTT member agencies have noted a marked increase in psychological distress amongst clients and communities in the past two years as well as a marked increase in referrals. Community leaders are increasingly calling for FASSTT member agencies to deliver extra counselling and community development support to manage community stress, anxiety, social isolation and grief and seeking strategies to cope with economic hardship.
The crisis necessitated significant changes in organisational service delivery across the nation with clinical services often being delivered via telehealth. Clinicians in FASSTT member agencies noted a marked increase in psychological distress amongst clients including increased anxiety, increased social isolation, and an increase in intense family stressors – the context of disrupted schooling and online learning has particularly severe impacts for children and their families.
FASSTT services are working with the community and all levels of government to address the impacts of COVID innovatively and effectively.
The Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) is a network of Australia’s eight specialist rehabilitation agencies that work with survivors of torture and trauma who have come to Australia from overseas. Most clients of FASSTT agencies have come to Australia as refugees or humanitarian entrants. FASSTT agencies also work with survivors of torture and trauma who have come to Australia as asylum seekers. There is one FASSTT member agency in each state and territory of Australia.