As part of its support for refugees, the voestalpine Group is cofinancing the Caritas project SOTIRIA which offers crisis intervention and psychotherapy to asylum seekers, helping them overcome crisis situations and develop problem-solving strategies.
By the time they reach Austria, many refugees have been severely traumatised by events they’ve experienced in their home countries and during their flight to Europe. Caritas works to support refugees in overcoming crisis situations and helps them to develop problem-solving strategies. SOTIRIA offers asylum seekers targeted crisis intervention and psychotherapy specific to their particular needs.
Improving quality of life
The SOTIRIA team of 7 therapists provides crisis intervention counselling, individual therapy sessions, and group therapy to refugees in Salzburg and the surrounding region, helping them come to terms with their traumatic experiences. This is intended to significantly improve both the health and quality of life of many asylum seekers and people in shelters. The majority of SOTIRIA clients have clearly experienced multiple traumas resulting from violence, abuse and torture, and which are often concurrent with other existing psychiatric disorders.
Thanks to the support from voestalpine, during 2016 SOTIRIA will be able to offer an additional 15 adolescent refugees the psychotherapeutic treatment they need to work through the traumas they experienced during their flight.
Case study: Walid (17) from Afghanistan
Caritas staff singled out Walid, a 17-year old Afghan boy, for placement on the SOTIRIA project because of the severe traumas and psychological strain he was suffering. Walid had made his way to Austria on his own, and since leaving Afghanistan has heard nothing from his family–his mother and four brothers.
His 29 hours of therapy was primarily concerned with building relationships and processing his traumatic experiences. Another focus of the therapy was to create a supportive daily routine. Walid also received help in developing effective coping strategies for enduring his lengthy asylum process. The extra places at SOTIRIA, made possible through financial support from voestalpine, have also helped Walid get through the unsettling days of waiting for the outcome of his asylum process, and to put his traumatic experiences behind him. Walid has now been awarded subsidiary protection status and is allowed to stay in Austria.