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.
July 9, 2021
In this episode STARTTS Counsellor Hassan Saleh talks about his early life as a Kurdish boy and young man, growing up in northern Iraq and how his commitment to learning, peace and justice brought him to the counselling profession and extended his pursuit of human rights to animal rights as well. Hassan shares some of the intricacies of his experiences as a bicultural counsellor in Australia and explains how a music-based psycho-social group at STARTTS has supported the recovery of adult survivors of refugee trauma. Hassan holds a Bachelor in Translation from the University of Mosul and is currently working toward a Graduate Diploma in Counselling.
WARNING: This podcast contains details that may be distressing to some listeners. If you are tuning in from Australia and need support, please reach out to the crisis supporters at Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Intro music by Eric Avery and R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly). Kurdish music based on the work of Qadir Kaban and Jiwan Hajo was performed by Hassan Saleh with sound recording and mixing by Barry Saleh. Image supplied by Hassan Saleh.
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
May 18, 2021
Rafik Tanious is an education and mental-health professional and film maker, who specialises in cross-cultural therapeutic interventions and inter-cultural learning. In this discussion with Nicole Loehr, they address the specific needs of learners with a refugee experiences and ways in which schools, teachers and counsellors can support in more culturally sensitive and trauma informed ways.
Rafik talks intimately about his personal journey in Australia and how it would later influence his work over the last 25 years, both in Australia and internationally. More recently through the complexities and opportunities in working with young people with a refugee experience who have been resettled in rural and regional areas of Australia.
Find Out More:
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by Eric Avery and R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly). Image supplied by Rafik Tanious.
April 16, 2021
Teacher, psychologist and writer Jemima Shafei-Ongu talks to Nicole Loehr about how texts with refugee themes can be used in the classroom in a way that respects the psychological safety of all students. Jemima also shared her tips on how to support students who express their wish to share aspects of their refugee experience with the school community.
Find out more:
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by Eric Avery and R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly). Image supplied by Jemima Shafei-Ongu.
March 30, 2021
Nicole Loehr interviews Occupational Therapist and fellow STARTTS School Liaison Officer, Rachelle Coe about the role that occupational therapy can play in recovery from refugee trauma. They discuss how a knowledge of sensory processing can be harnessed to support students with co- and self-regulation in the classroom and illustrate the important role that the physical environment plays in supporting calm and alert states of arousal. Rachelle also reflects on her experiences of facilitating and providing consultation for play-based groups and supports for learners with refugee experience.
Find out more:
Produced by Nicole Loehr. Music by Eric Avery and R.E.M. (performed by Troy Reilly). Public domain image from piqsels.com.