It is a legal and human right to seek asylum however, people who arrive in Australia without a valid visa are subject to mandatory detention, whether offshore, onshore, in a facility or in community detention. Currently, an application for refugee status may take many months or even years to be determined and during this period, many may not have access to essential services like the right to work, housing and primary healthcare resulting in a total reliance on the charity and goodwill of others. By the end of 2017, 68.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide including 25.4 million refugees and 3.1 million asylum seekers. (Source)
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was declared the Universal Patron Saint of Immigrants in acknowledgement of her life's work caring for immigrant populations in the USA and Latin America. This priority demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the most vulnerable of today's immigrants: asylum seekers and refugees. Our goal is to improve the social determinants of health for people seeking asylum. We stand for the compassionate treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health
The Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub provides access to a range of health services for people seeking asylum and newly arrived refugees. To provide these services, we rely upon a mix of employed and pro bono staff to provide quality primary and specialist health care. The centre opened in June 2016.
Specialist Mental Health Services by Telehealth - Regional Victoria
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is supporting Cabrini Outreach to respond to the mental health needs of people seeking asylum and other temporary visa holders in the Greater Shepparton and Mildura Regions.
*not available to people on tourist or international student visas
Clinic Sihat - Primary Healthcare - Shepparton
In partnership with Primary Care Connect, Cabrini Outreach has opened a new primary health clinic for people seeking asylum in Shepparton. It offers on-ground presence of an experienced pro bono GP, a practice nurse, and a pharmacy waiver program – and all health care provided by the clinic is free.
Project Sihat Psychosocial Support – Shepparton and Mildura
Our Psychosocial Support Caseworkers, hosted in the Uniting Settlement Hub in Shepparton and at Catholic Care in Mildura, can provide information and referrals for legal assistance, accommodation, emergency relief, food share and community connections. Our caseworkers will work collaboratively with our mental health team to provide holistic psychosocial support.
Cabrini Outreach Hume and Whittlesea Pharmacy Waiver Program
We support people seeking asylum who have no income to access essential medications. This program is operated by Cabrini Outreach in partnership with WCC. The Program provides eligible clients with a waiver that covers the costs of their prescription medications. It alleviates the effects of the changes to the SRSS which directly affect the lives of Asylum Seekers.
Development of a mental health tool
Cabrini Outreach has funded the development of an adult mental health screening tool considerate of the needs of asylum seekers and refugees.
Mental health support to Regional Victoria for asylum seekers and other temporary visa holders*