This Queensland Mental Health Week, we are sharing stories from our staff about how they tend to their own wellbeing and what assistance QPASTT can offer for people who might need some support.
Girmay Gebremedhin is a Counsellor in our Youth Enterprise and Innovation Co-Team Leader.
“I think it is essential to understand the diversity in experiences and that recovery takes time, especially in cases of torture and trauma. Acknowledging clients, where they have come from and what they have experienced, is one of the first steps in building a relationship and creating trust. It is important to take the time to understand and listen to someone before making a judgement.I sought help from QPASTT when I first arrived in Australia, and have been an advocate for mental health awareness for a long time (more about Girmay’s story here). I believe that all organisations should have better practices in place for reaching out and checking in on each other, both for staff and for clients.One of the challenges QPASTT faces is the different stigmas around help-seeking in different cultures and communities. One of the ways QPASTT overcomes this is by reaching out to the community instead of waiting for clients to reach out to us. Once we go out into the community, they will tell us what they need.When refugees arrive in Australia, they often feel isolated as no one takes the time to acknowledge and understand their experiences to get here. They need someone to take the time to understand and respect their experience, whether it is within a supported community or through professional help.”
QPASTT supports people of all ages who have had a refugee experience. We offer counselling, group work, community programs, and youth and family support.
If you’d like to chat with someone from QPASTT about how we can help, call us on 07 3391 6677 or make a referral.