You can refer yourself or make a referral for another person with their consent. Anyone can make a referral to QPASTT including service providers, medical professionals, a family member or friend.
There are two ways to make a referral.
- Call the Duty Officer on (07) 3391 6677 and make a referral over the phone.
- Download the referral form and send the completed form by Fax to (07) 3391 6388 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All referrals for people living in Brisbane and regional areas, go through our main office in Brisbane.
QPASTT is not a crisis service. If you or someone you know needs help right now please contact a crisis service. See ‘Where else can I go for help?’ below.
The following people are eligible to access our services:
- those with a refugee (or refugee-like) background; AND
- those with a history of torture and/or other traumatic events prior to arrival in Australia (in the case of children and youth, QPASTT recognises the effects of intergenerational trauma and provides service to those whose key family member or carer have pre arrival experiences of torture and/or trauma); AND
- those who are experiencing psychological or psycho social difficulties believed to be associated with their experience of torture and traumatic events; AND
- those who consent to receive our services
The person must be living in Queensland.
The person can be a child or young person aged 5 to 24 years or an adult. They may have lived in Australia for any length of time, from a few days to many years.
We cannot provide services for people whose main presenting issue is drug and alcohol or domestic violence related. We will direct clients with these issues to other appropriate services and work with other services to provide joint services for refugees and asylum seekers with drug and alcohol or domestic violence issues.
Contact QPASTT if you are (or if you are concerned about a person) experiencing:
difficulty with sleeping, nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks, intense and prolonged grief and sadness, intense and prolonged guilt or anger, persistent unhappy or frightening memories, loss of memory, feelings of helplessness and feeling disconnected from your body.
or you (or the person of concern) is:
avoiding situations that remind you of past experiences, feeling isolated and mistrustful of others, unable to concentrate, constantly thinking repetitive thoughts, often feeling nervous and irritable for no reason, feeling distant from people once close to you and withdrawing from friends and social activities.
Which services can I refer to?
You can refer people to our individual and family counselling services or some Groups. Please indicate the type of activity you are referring the person to on the referral form. Not all services are available in all locations.
In Brisbane, counselling is usually offered at our offices at Woolloongabba or Logan. QPASTT staff offer outreach counselling services to adults at the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Gatton, Inala and Goodna. Location details for our other regional offices are available here.
Our child and youth counsellors may also see children and young people at school or in the community.
Counselling sessions are available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. There may be a waiting period for counselling, depending on demand but an initial intake appointment will be made as soon as possible.
Before referring someone to QPASTT, it is important that you talk to them about our service and confirm that they agree to being contacted by QPASTT. This helps us to build trust with the person and gives them respectful choice in the process of being referred. The more of the following information you provide, the easier it is to request a service and to make a referral.
- date of birth
- marital status
- number of children, their age and sex
- phone number
- when you/he or she arrived in Australia
- visa category
- preferred languages
- country of birth
If you are requesting a counselling service then it will also be helpful to know:
- reason for referral, including the background to the current problem
- any other organisations you/the person is involved with.
Remember to complete the Parental Consent section of the referral form, if you are referring a child (under 18 years of age).
It is essential that anyone you refer to QPASTT first consents to the referral. If necessary, ensure you use a professional interpreter to seek consent.
If you are concerned about your client’s psychological wellbeing and you think this might be connected to past trauma you could ask the following questions to determine if a referral to QPASTT is appropriate – the questions only require a yes/no answer:
- I am aware that before coming to Australia you may have experienced some terrible events. You don’t have to tell me about this but I feel there might be something upsetting you about the past. Is it OK if I ask you a few questions?
- Do you have bad dreams or keep remembering things that happened in the past (as if a past experience is happening), or thoughts about them when you do not want to?
- Do you try hard not to think about the past or go out of your way to avoid situations that remind you of this?
- Do you constantly worry that something bad might happen, or are you easily frightened by noises (eg. phone, door bell, etc.)?
- Do you feel uninterested in other people, places, or activities?
- Are any of the above impacting on your current everyday life? If so, it can be helpful to talk to a person trained and experienced in working with such situations. Would you like to talk about this with someone at QPASTT?
Provide information to the client about QPASTT as a service which can assist people with the problems / difficulties which people face when arriving in a new country. Some of those difficulties are the result of previous experiences. For example, you could say:
“QPASTT is a service which has worked with people who have come to Australia who have been in a similar situation to you. They offer assistance for individuals and families. They can provide assistance for (choose the most suitable for the client’s situation of the following):
- Feelings of nervousness
- Feelings of sadness
- Difficulties with sleeping
- Coping with everyday problems
- Trouble with learning or remembering, or thinking too much
- Not feeling like you want to be around other people
- Not feeling that there is any future
- Family difficulties or conflicts in families and/or
- Children and/or young people finding it difficult to settle into a new country or school (or getting to used to all the changes they face)
Consider giving the client a QPASTT brochure in their own language.
You may be concerned about a child or young person if they show signs of trauma such as being withdrawn, sad, anxious or aggressive, have difficulty concentrating or making friends. Younger children may act out in their play bad experiences they have had and become very distressed when they are separated from their parents.
To refer a child or young person (under 18 years of age), you will need to complete the Referral Form and ensure you have completed the section about consent from a parent/guardian. You may need to arrange an interpreter if required, to assist you to ensure that parents/guardians are fully informed and consent to the referral.
Counselling (Children and Young People)
A QPASTT program co-ordinator will be in contact with the referrer within 2 weeks and they will explain the process from there – including waiting times for counselling if any.
If the referral is for a child, the parent/guardian will attend the intake as well as school staff and any other organisations involved with the child if needed.
Please contact us if you are unsure of the progress of a referral you have made.
QPASTT is not a crisis service. If you or somebody you know is in crisis contact:
- your local mental health service
- your nearest hospital
- the police
- 24 hour crisis telephone support Lifeline on 13 11 14
If it is an emergency call 000.
Please call the free telephone interpreter service (TIS) on 13 14 50 if you need help with English/interpreting.
QPASTT is a member of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) and there is one FASSTT member agency in each state and territory of Australia.
The eight agencies in the FASSTT network offer direct services to survivors of torture and trauma, their families and communities. These include psychological assessments, individual psycho-therapeutic interventions, group and family therapy, youth activities, natural therapies and community development.