Who we are

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.
Starting with a group of human rights activists and mental health workers gathered in Vancouver to support refugees arriving from the armed conflicts in Central America, in 1986, the VAST turned the BC’s largest centre for refugee mental health.


countries (even more) in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America are origins of refugees VAST works with nowadays.


languages are supported by our programs and services, including Arabic, Farsi, French, Mandarin, and Spanish.

What People Say About Us

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"For me is like home all the staff have made feel like part of a family is a warm and kind place" Client
"VAST has helped me a lot to resolve emotional problems and given me guidance in many unknown things. I thank everybody for their support" Client
“Best thing Bridge clinic had ever done for him was to refer him to VAST. It has changed his life”
Cathy Crozier, MSW, RSW, Manager, Evergreen Addictions, Special Projects & Tobacco Treatment, Vancouver Coastal Health
"I wanted to also let you know how impressed I am with VAST. I have been working a bit with Mariana and others to assist some of my clients. It has been a wonderful experience for both me and my clients. I am very thankful for all you and your organization does. You all should be proud."
Anna Negrin, Partner Law Firm

Thank You for the Support


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Understand More About Us

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about VAST and the work we do to support refugee mental health and the survivors of torture.

What does VAST do?
What is the definition of ‘refugee’?
How is torture defined?
What are the effects of torture?
How does VAST assist refugees and other newcomers?
How many people does VAST support each year?
Who are your clients?
What languages do your clients speak?
What age groups come to VAST?
I am currently living outside of Canada. How can VAST help me?
What does “Healing is an Act of Resistance” mean?
I want to support the work VAST does. How can I help?
What volunteer opportunities are available?
How can I become a volunteer?
How does VAST support LGBTQ* Refugees?
Who is a protected person?

Who Trains with VAST