Project Objectives

  • Strengthening local infrastructure and services for torture survivors.
  • Educating individuals within the refugee and non-refugee community (potential referral sources) in order to identify and increase the pool of torture survivors who could benefit from services offered through the proposed services.
  • Conducting training and education of professionals in health, mental health, social, and legal services to increase their knowledge and expertise.
  • Providing comprehensive torture survivor centered services and determining their benefits through process and outcome evaluation and disseminating lessons learned from the project to the wider service and research community.

Project Goals

  • Serve 300 Survivors of Torture
  • Train 90 Professionals
  • Educate 75 Individuals in the Refugee Community
  • Educate 75 Individuals in the Non-Refugee Community in Three Years


  • Medical Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Social Service Referrals
  • Legal Referrals

Who We Serve

Refugees and immigrants who have been victims of torture and/or who may have witnessed torture of family, friends or others in their country of origin prior to arriving in the United States. Family members of survivors of torture are also served.

Milestones & Accomplishments

  • Three-year federal grant project funded by USDHHS, ORR (September 30, 2012)
  • Operations began on October 1, 2012
  • New facility at Americana Community Center opened on September 5, 2013
  • 3,676 refugees health screened during the first two and half years of the project
  • 773 refugees self-reported being either a primary or secondary survivor of torture which translates into a 21% torture prevalence rate
  • 180 unique, individual survivors of torture served during the first two and half years of the project
  • During the last one and a half years of STRC operations (from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015), the preponderance of survivor of torture clients provided medical, mental health, social and legal services came from Iraq, Bhutan, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia, Burma (Myanmar) and Somalia.
  • 231 medical, mental health and social service professionals trained in two and half years
  • During the last six month ORR semi-annual reporting period from October 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015, 94 survivor of torture clients (40 new clients and 54 continuing clients) received some combination or permutation of medical, mental health, social and/or legal services for a combined total of 210 units of service rendered.
  • 95% client satisfaction with STRC services and 95% indicated that they would recommend STRC services to others
  • 87% of clients feel comfortable and safe at the STRC facility, 77% believe the counseling they received from STRC helped them to improve the quality of their life and at least 90% are satisfied with the medical, psychiatric and case management services they received at the STRC

STRC Partners

Kentucky Office for Refugees

Kentucky Refugee Ministries

Catholic Charities

Americana Community Center

Family Health Centers, Inc.

Seven Counties Services, Inc.

Contact Information

Jim Guinn, STRC Program Manager


Email Jim Guinn

Dr. Bibhuti Sar, Principal Investigator/Project Director

Email Dr. Sar

Survivors of Torture Recovery Center 


For referrals: Pam Ratcliffe


Email Pam Ratcliffe

How You Can Help

  • Volunteer
  • Mentor
  • Refer a Client
  • Make a Donation

Volunteer Mental Health Clinicians and Case Managers Needed

The Survivors of Torture Recovery Center (STRC) is a three-year, federal grant-funded program at the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work. Recently we received a second three-year round of federal funding to continue our important work through September of 2018.

Torture can affect the lives of its victims long after the physical scars have healed. The STRC offers comprehensive specialty mental health services, medical and case management coordination plus social and legal services referrals to refugees and immigrants who are suffering from the devastating effects of torture. STRC’s mission is to provide compassionate, culturally-appropriate, trauma-informed care to our clients in order to help them deal with the past and move towards a bright future. STRC is located in a wing of Americana Community Center (4803 Southside Drive, Louisville, KY 40214).

If you are interesting in developing another clinical area of expertise, please consider volunteering to provide mental health services to survivors of torture. There will be opportunities to assist with both individual therapy and/or co-facilitated group therapy sessions. Training will be provided by STRC staff. If you have experience working with refugees, that is great. Even if you don’t have experience working with refugees but would like to work with this population, please consider being a volunteer mental health therapist. Both masters and doctoral-level social workers are encouraged to participate in this unique therapeutic opportunity. We are also looking for volunteer case managers, so please consider volunteering in this capacity as well.

The mental health clinician volunteer opportunity would involve seeing one or two clients on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and/or perhaps co-facilitating a group session. For volunteer case managers, we would be grateful for any number of hours per week you would be willing to help out. Additionally, if your schedule would allow, we have a weekly multi-disciplinary client case review meeting on Thursday mornings from 9:30 am to 11:00 am that includes a staff psychiatrist, several social workers, a case manager and a clinical psychologist.

If you are interested in providing pro bono mental health and/or case management services to survivors of torture, please contact Jim Guinn, STRC Sustainability Coordinator, at 502-852-7968 or via email at Thank you very much!