Center for Survivors of Torture Reception with Guest Tom Nazario

October 20, 2014

On August 23, AACI held a reception in Palo Alto featuring Tom Nazario, President and founder of The Forgotten Individual (TFI). Mr. Nazario presented and signed copies of TFI’s book, Living on a Dollar a Day, which depicts life in extreme poverty through personal stories and photos of people living in these conditions. The event’s proceeds benefited AACI’s Center for Survivors of Torture (CST). We graciously thank Mr. Nazario and TFI for supporting CST!

AACI’s Center for Survivors of Torture provides clinical, psychological, and social services to people who have suffered political, psychological and/or physical torture from all over the world. CST educates survivors about the effects of torture and provides them with consistent care to succeed in the U.S . It is the only federally funded program of its kind in Northern California.

Here is the story of one of our clients who found a new beginning through CST:

Amir is a 34 years old male from Iran who came to the United States as refugee in 2013.  As a religious minority in Iran, Amir and his family were under constant persecution by the government of Iran.  Due to insurmountable difficulties in Iran, Amir decided to flee his country.  Upon arrival to the United States, Amir’s health condition started to deteriorate.  In addition to his health complications, Amir was experiencing immigration difficulties including language barrier, social isolation, financial difficulties, and cultural shock.  Amir came to CST presenting with symptoms of depression. Despite the difficulties, Amir appeared very resilient and was determined to improve his emotional and physical well-being.

Amir received therapeutic, psychiatric, and case management services at CST.  Through therapeutic services, Amir learned new coping skills like positive thinking and mindfulness to manage his depressive symptoms. In addition, Amir learned assertiveness skills which alleviated his feelings of helplessness.  Amir gained insight into the relationship between his past traumatic experiences and current emotional state.  In addition, therapy was focused on addressing acculturation issues and processing thought and feelings associated with the immigration experience.

Through case management services, Amir was linked to his religious community and received support from its members. In addition, he was linked to job opportunities in the community, ESL classes, medical and dental services, and certificate educational programs to help facilitate his adjustment to a new country.

Amir has improved his health and wellness, secured a job as a computer technician and has become self-sufficient.

CST has served over 400 clients and outreached to approximately 4,800 people at numerous community events and organizations this past year.



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