Refugees and asylum seekers may have experienced traumatising events, such as civil conflict or torture, that have had an impact on their mental health. Open honest communication with health professionals is essential to help them overcome these traumas.
Australia is broadly perceived as a haven of safe refuge by those fleeing persecution, war or civil conflict in countries around the world. In 2008 to 2009, under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the status of refugees, just over 13,500 people were granted protection to live in Australia through its refugee and humanitarian program, the majority having been granted refugee status offshore. This figure is expected to increase to about 13,750 in 2009 to 2010.