Mission and History

photo4Utah Health and Human Rights (UHHR) was founded in 2003 by Cynthia Willard, M.D. in response to a limited understanding among medical service providers about the needs of torture survivors in Utah; specifically, how to recognize, assess, and care for refugee and asylum survivors of torture.

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Our Mission

The mission of Utah Health and Human Rights (UHHR) is to help refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers, and asylees heal from the physical and psychological impacts of torture and rebuild their lives.

UHHR’s innovative, evidence-based, and holistic services promote health, dignity, and self-sufficiency and are guided by profound respect for the dignity and resiliency of our clients.


Mind Recovery Port

They come broken, frail and disgraced.
They come with no dignity
as they have no self-reliance capabilities.
They come isolated, afraid and timid to start a fresh in this new land.
UHHR, a trauma haven comes in handy; welcomes, rehabilitates, provides therapy
and many more endlessly facilities
till refugees and asylees become calm,
gain self-control and learn to face life again.
This is a sanctuary for sobs, moans and wails depending
on individual state of psyche
for their pain is right underneath the surface
and relived every time they tell their ugly stories or a
reminder of sorts comes around
and will live with them
so long as they are above the ground as it is only
possible to heal slowly but not forget.
Rehabilitation helps them pick up the pieces
to enable them get involved in cultural activities:
creativity, art, dance, song, play, cuisine and dressing. Some
become volunteers, translators;
others teach would be visitors to their former nations their
national languages or mother tongues.
They learn English language if they don't know it
in order get immersed in the new communities.
They train, get employed and gain their dignity back.
A shoulder to cry on is the staff of this institution without
shading a tear however sad or bad
for if the therapists become vulnerable then who
would console who!
The pains vary from physical to mental or both and attention
is to all regardless of weightiness
for ignoring is haunting and devastating.
They sign for the jobs as a calling
knowing how patient they must be
lest they become failures to the wounds gaping at them
everyday they report on duty.
Moral support to court they provide
and arrangements to medical care they make
for they deal with people who know no direction in this new home of development
as most emanate from less advancement and with language barriers
the problems become compounded.

--Anonymous Client of UHHR


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What Our Clients Say

“There is no other place like this where I can talk about what has happened to me. When I can talk about it, it does not hurt so much.”