survivors1Many refugees and asylees living in Salt Lake City have successfully integrated into local communities and economies with the assistance of basic refugee services.

However, refugees and asylees who have survived torture and severe war trauma often require more than basic services to help them gain control of their lives and build confidence in their futures.

Utah's Resettled Refugees

Torture prevalence varies greatly by country of origin, religion, and tribal affiliation. Among refugees resettled in Utah, groups with torture prevalence ranging from 50-69% include survivors from Ethiopia, Iraq, and Western Sudan. Torture prevalence of 5-35% is found among refugees from Burma (including ethnic minority groups Karen, Chin, and Mon), the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bhutan.

Utah has resettled refugees since 1983 and is home to over 60,000 refugees. That means that Utah is likely home to approximately 17,500 survivors. THRIVE (formerly Utah Health and Human Rights) sees an average client increase of 30% annually.

Utah’s Survivors of Torture

familyIn addition to debilitating physical injuries, survivors of torture and severe war trauma have a high incidence of complex, often co-existing mental health issues, such as PTSD (70%), major depressive disorder (65%), anxiety, psychosis, and dissociative disorder. Many also experience social stressors such as extreme poverty, lack of environmental mastery, language barriers, social isolation, and loss of professional and social status.

Survivors of torture and severe war trauma need highly specialized, co-located, and comprehensive services that sensitively and effectively address their complex psychological, physical, social, and cultural needs. THRIVE Center for Survivors of Torture is the only program in Utah dedicated to assisting refugees and asylees who have been most severely impacted by torture and severe war-related violence. The unique services provided by THRIVE, combined with each survivor's remarkable resiliency, helps men, women, children, and families heal, rebuild their lives, integrate into communities, and become self-sufficient.

Demographics & Countries of Origin

THRIVE Center for Survivors of Torture serves refugees, asylum seekers, and asylees who have survived torture and severe war trauma. Our clients are men, women, and children and range in age from infants to elderly.

THRIVE has served clients from 80 different nations

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Bahrain
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Congo (non-DRC)
  • Cote D'Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Mexico
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Occupied Palestinian Territory
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates,
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Yugoslavia
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


What We Do

THRIVE Center for Survivors of Torture offers holistic services to survivors of torture living in Utah, as well as training for those who work with or may encounter torture survivors.

Direct Services

Since 2003, THRIVE Center for Survivors of Torture has significantly expanded its mission and services. Today, THRIVE is the only organization in Utah to provide co-located and highly-specialized mental health, medical, legal, and case management services to refugees and asylum seekers who have survived torture and severe war trauma.

Our services include:

  • individual psychotherapy
  • group psychotherapy
  • psychoeducation
  • advocacy and public education
  • in-house psychiatric clinic
  • medical case management
  • core case management
  • care provided in native languages

THRIVE’s one-stop, wrap-around program model affirms the widely held belief that survivors of human rights abuses benefit most from low-barrier, integrated services. THRIVE’s Torture and Severe War Trauma Treatment Program helps improve physical and mental health, encourages social integration, and assists survivors in becoming self-sufficient.

Training and Outreach

THRIVE Center for Survivors of Torture also provides training and consultation to community members and professionals statewide, including medical providers, religious leaders, educators, mental health therapists, and refugee mutual assistance organizations.

Our statewide capacity-building program helps individuals and government agencies identify victims of torture, and improve the overall quality and efficacy of refugee assistance in Utah. Our presentations draw on the latest national and international research regarding effective service delivery and cultural competency, trends in torture rehabilitation, and the impact of trauma on families and children.