June 9, 2022
In this episode, 19 year-old Afghan-Australian, Farzana Nazari talks about her experiences of transitioning from her Intensive English Centre to mainstream high school. Farzana also discusses what gave her strength and comfort during the turmoil of 2021, when the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan coincided with a prolonged covid-19 lockdown in Sydney, all while she was preparing for her Year 12 exams. Image supplied by Farzana Nazari.
For assistance with visa applications, the following services may be able to assist:
- RACS – Refugee Advice and Casework Service. Call +61(2) 8317 6500
- Legal Aid Refugee Service. Call - +61(2) 8713 6725
- Jesuit Refugee Services. Legal Support. Call – +61(2) 9356 3888
May 10, 2022
In this episode, STARTTS Youth Program Team Leader, Lina Ishu discusses how she and her team used flexibility, creativity and consultation to adapt to the needs of Afghan Young People in the context of the 2021 Taliban takeover and the COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney, Australia. Lina explains how a range of supports including small online groups, large forums, fundraisers, art competitions and social media communication channels were offered to minimise isolation and reach out with pathways to mental health support.
Find out more about STARTTS Services for Children and Young People here.
May 3, 2022
In this episode, STARTTS Community Development Group Worker, Rohullah Rahimi, spoke with Nicole Loehr about how recent evacuees from Afghanistan are being impacted by their ordeal. He discusses what educators can do to support the resettlement and recovery of young Afghans and also talks about the various groups and forums, he and STARTTS colleagues have been facilitating for their Afghan clients.
Groups that Rohullah and colleagues are involved in facilitating at STARTTS:
- Australian Citizenship Test Preparation group for Permanent Residents
- Women’s yoga group (run by a colleague)
- Afghan Youth Gathering – Afghan Young People are on Steering Committee – aimed at 12-24 year olds.
- Community Groups and Forums – Afghan Community RoundTable Discussion and also a support group for recent evacuees.
- If you would like to discuss Community Development Programs for Afghan members of the community, please call STARTTS on (02) 9646 6666 and ask for Rohullah Rahimi.
Links to where to donate to support Afghans:
People seeking information about the immigration status of recent arrivals from Afghanistan or information about pathways for Afghans to resettle in Australia, are advised to consult The Department of Home Affairs Afghanistan Update and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service Afghanistan Crisis Response Clinic.
March 25, 2022
Welcome to Season 2 of the Hints for Healing Podcast! In this season we welcome guests to share their experiences and insights into supporting the resettlement and mental health of Afghan members of the community at a time of enormous upheaval, uncertainty and worry for Afghan people all around the world.
My first guest this season is Greg Gow. Greg leads the Melbourne-based Foundation House Education and Early Years Program, which is a Victorian statewide service supporting schools and early years service providers to respond to children and families with refugee experiences. Since August 2021, Greg has been coordinating Foundation House’s response to supporting school-age resettled Afghans in Victoria in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the humanitarian crisis that has followed.
October 12, 2021
On 10 September, STARTTS School Liaison Team Leader, Shaun Nemorin chaired the 2021 conference of the International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR). One of the distinguished speakers was psychologist, activist and social arts facilitator, Hector Aristizábal. In this recording, Hector, himself a survivor of civil war, trauma and torture, speaks about his work on the “Reconectando” project in Colombia. This project combines deep ecology, social theatre and ritual to support ex-combatants and victims of Colombia’s civil war to heal through their connection to themselves, each other and the earth. The project accompanies the work of the Truth Commission in Colombia.
Warning: This recording contains descriptions of sexual violence, torture and other human rights abuses.
Produced by Shaun Nemorin and Nicole Loehr. Music by R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly) and Eric Avery. Image from the 2021 ISHHR Conference.
Find out more:
- ImaginAction - https://imaginaction.org/artists/hector
- International Society for Health and Human Rights - https://ishhr.com/
September 7, 2021
In this episode, Nicole Loehr speaks with STARTTS Senior Clinician and Clinical Trainer, Nooria Mehraby. Nooria trained as a medical doctor in her native Afghanistan before completing a Master of Counselling in Australia. She has more than 30 years experience working with refugees both overseas and in Australia and that includes over 25 years working at STARTTS.
In this podcast, Nooria provides some context for the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan and explains how the situation is impacting on the Afghan diaspora around the world. Nooria also shares her tips on how educators can best support students and families at this time while also maintaining their own self-care.
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly) and Eric Avery. Image supplied by Nooria Mehraby.
Find out more:
August 26, 2021
In this special edition podcast in Dari, STARTTS Senior Clinician/Clinical Trainer, Nooria Mehraby, MD, addresses Afghan parents across NSW. In this podcast, Nooria provides:
- An introduction to STARTTS services
- An outline of some common symptoms of acute stress and retraumatisation
- Advice on how parents can get some relief from their symptoms while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions in NSW
- Tips on how parents can support the wellbeing of their children and adolescents during the crisis in Afghanistan and COVID-19 restrictions
- Suggestions on how to avoid exposure to graphic content amongst children and young people
- Guidance to parents who are concerned about their children falling behind with their schoolwork
- Warning signs to look out for in themselves and in their children that indicate the need to seek professional support
- Contact details for STARTTS, RACS (Refugee Advice & Casework Service), TIS, Kids Helpline, Lifeline and 000.
Nooria is a senior clinician and clinical trainer at STARTTS. Herself a former refugee, Nooria has more than 30 years experience working with refugees both overseas and here in Australia. This includes over 25 years experience at STARTTS. Nooria first trained as a medical doctor in her native Afghanistan and later obtained a Master of Counselling with Distinction in Australia. Her particular interest is in developing cross-cultural therapeutic interventions with refugees, especially with Muslim clients. In 2015 she was the recipient of Australian Muslim Professional of the Year Award.
August 15, 2021
In this episode, Nicole Loehr speaks with Clinical Psychologist Joelle Wehbe and Social Worker Celine Yasmine from RESTART, which is the Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture in Lebanon. Joelle and Celine discuss how they have supported young survivors of the blast that occurred at the Port of Beirut on the 4th of August in 2020. Of the 1026 survivors of the blast that RESTART has assisted, 55% are refugees. Celine and Joelle explain how children, already impacted by refugee trauma, were further impacted by the blast and they outline the protective factors that they’ve observed to be contributing to these children’s psychological recovery. Both guests also spoke candidly about how they’ve personally been impacted by the blast, and by the broader crises Lebanon is facing and how they manage their own psychological self-care.
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly) and Eric Avery. Image of Joelle Wehbe with a client supplied by Joelle Wehbe and Celine Yasmine. Parent consent for publication of the photo was obtained by RESTART.
Find out more:
July 30, 2021
In this episode, Nicole interviews STARTTS Child and Adolescent Neurofeedback Counsellor Jacqueline Tow. At STARTTS, Jacqueline practices neurofeedback counselling with children, young people and their families both in STARTTS clinics, and, when COVID restrictions allow, in schools.
Jacqueline explains what neurofeedback counselling is, for which trauma symptoms it’s particularly effective and how it affects change in the brain, and ultimately in the mental wellbeing of her clients.
Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) as well as a Master of Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy. Prior to being at STARTTS, she worked in private practice and across rural and regional NSW in a range of settings.
Find out more:
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by Eric Avery and R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly). Image supplied by STARTTS.
May 28, 2021
Dr Simon Rosenbaum is an internationally recognised pioneer in the field of physical activity, mental illness, sport for development and global mental health.
Scientia Associate Professor in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, he has worked with a variety of groups including youth, veterans, emergency service workers and refugees. Simon has overseen various international research and capacity building projects, including working in the Rohingya refugee crises in Bangladesh and with those fleeing the Syrian conflict in Gaziantep, Turkey
In this talk with Shaun Nemorin, they discuss the impact of sports and physical activity as an effective biopsychosocial intervention for young people in contexts of forced displacement and the barriers to participation for some, including women and those with physical disabilities. They similarly discuss everything from the need to resource scalable community based initiatives, neo colonialism in the field of global mental health and hints for practitioners and educators in promoting physical activity with young survivors.
Find Out More:
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by Eric Avery and R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly). Image supplied by Simon Rosenbaum