September 23, 2011

What We Do

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


We provide documentation of evidence of psychological trauma for the refugee claim process. We work with our clients (and their lawyers) to document symptoms of psychological trauma to support their refugee claim.


We provide trauma-focused psychological counseling for refugees in one-on-one and group settings. We use psycho-education, emotion self-regulation, and information sharing to prepare our clients for the short-term refugee claim and long-term settlement processes.


We provide referrals to health, housing, and settlement services. We work with our community partners in the health and social services sectors to create a network to support our clients’ basic needs.


We provide training and professional development workshops on refugee mental health for health and social service providers, and students of allied health programs. We work on local and national committees to advance the rights of refugees and access to mental health services.

Program Features

Our Getting Through It group is a weekly psychosocial support group for refugees on “getting through” their refugee claim. We have partnered with Settlement Orientation Services (“SOS”) to provide an integrated approach to address the immediate mental health and settlement needs of refugees in their first few months in Canada. The group is held every Wednesday from 10:00am – 12:00pm at VAST’s offices on Victoria Dr. Sessions are held in multiple languages.

Our Refugee Readiness Project provides province-wide education and training for health and social service providers working with refugees throughout British Columbia. We provide information, referrals, and case consultation.

Contact our Provincial Refugee Mental Health Coordinator toll-free at 1-866-393-3133 for more information.

Download our Vulnerability Screening Tool and our Group Therapy Manual.