A charity which offers support to survivors of torture has opened a new office on Tyneside.
The service offers help to people who have survived torture
The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture gives practical and psychological help to people who have suffered torture or ethnic violence.
When it first opens, the facility will be based in the North of England Refugee Service's building in Jesmond.
The need for such a service in the North East was pinpointed after a national assessment by the charity.
As part of a Department of Health funded project, the service will offer training in how best to improve the mental wellbeing of survivors of torture.
'Xenophobia and racism'
This will include the development of models of good practice, which will be shared with primary care mental workers across the UK.
The charity, which is based in London, with branches in Manchester, Glasgow and now the North East, last year received more than 2,500 referrals for help from people from 95 different countries.
Alan Price, manager of the new service, said: "There is a growing number of refugees and asylum seekers in the region, a significant proportion of whom will have suffered gross human rights violations in their country of origin.
"The North East is a friendly and welcoming region, but unfortunately, as is the case in many other parts of Britain, there is also xenophobia and racism.
"Part of the remit of the Medical Foundation North East is to raise awareness of the real reasons that people are forced to flee their country of origin."