Counselling & Advocacy

The counselling team at Melaleuca Refugee Centre provides support, counselling and advocacy services to individuals and their families from refugee background. People who have experienced torture and trauma before coming to Australia might continue to suffer from effects of the prolonged exposure to human rights abuses, violence, war and physical hardship. Settling into a foreign country can be a very traumatising experience. Melaleuca recognises that people’s pre-migration experiences and the process of resettlement are important to psychosocial well being. Melaleuca offers initial counselling upon arrival and long term counselling for those individuals or families in need.

Counselling & Advocacy Services:

  • Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT client referral)
  • Newly Arrived Youth Support Services and Youth Program (YOUTH)
  • Intensive Family Support Services (IFS)
  • Torture and Trauma Counselling (Detention) (T&T)

What is “counselling” and when is it beneficial?

Counsellor/advocates provide a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment where people can talk about their experiences, both pre and post migration, and can explore their strong feelings, thoughts, and memories. Reactions to trauma may include disturbed sleep, nightmares, panic attacks, feeling anxious, feelings of guilt and shame, feelings of hopeless or helplessness, and too much worry. People may be suffering many physical symptoms, the pain of loss of loved ones and homeland, and feelings relating to displacement and fear of future.

How do Melaleuca counsellors work?

Through working together, we aim for people to gain control and enjoyment in their lives and participate more fully in society. We use interpreters if people do not feel confident in the use of the English language. Our current staff are qualified psychologists, social workers, youth workers or art therapists. Melaleuca counsellors also support community development and settlement activities and work closely with other agencies to support our clients such as NT Legal Aid, local schools, Adult Migrant English Program and other services.

What do Melaleuca counsellors offer?

  • Counselling and advocacy Emotional support to individuals, parents and families
  • Assistance to young people, including counselling, group activities and in-school support
  • Child focused counselling and support, addressing the needs of children and their families, individually, and in groups
  • In-school programs focusing on children, their parents and teachers
  • Flexible services, including access to interpreters and counselling free of charge
  • Training, consultancy and joint activities with schools, universities, health and other professionals and community members.