What We Do

We support refugee mental health through counselling, documentation, education, and referrals.

For the last 30+ years VAST has supported the Human Rights and psychosocial wellbeing of refugees arriving in BC, many of whom seek protection in Canada fleeing violence and persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The VAST journey

BC’s largest centre for refugee mental health

In 1986, a small group of human rights activists and mental health workers gathered in Vancouver to support the flood of refugees arriving from the armed conflicts in Central America. They founded the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (“VAST”) in October of that year, and this dedicated group of volunteers built what would become BC’s largest centre for refugee mental health. Today, VAST works with refugees from over 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Our programs and services are offered in over a dozen languages, including Arabic, Farsi, French, Mandarin, and Spanish. We support the mental health of refugees who arrive in British Columbia with psychological trauma as a result of torture, political violence, and other forms of persecution on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

  • We work with refugees from over 100 countries

  • We run close to 100 support groups annually.

  • We run at least 30 training sessions annually with other refugee serving organisation.

  • We provide an average of 43 individual counselling sessions each week.

VOICES AGAINST TORTURE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Voices Against Torture Journal

This edition is available here.

HEALING IS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE