OMEGA was established in 1995, as an extension of the society, Austrian Physicians against Violence and Nuclear Danger, in particular in response to refugees from the former Yugoslavia. After its founding by 2 psychiatrists in 1995, operations were begun in January 1996 in the field of mental and physical health care and integration measures for refugees and other immigrants and the organisation has since grown in size and scope. As defined in its Statutes, OMEGA has the task of caring and arranging treatment for victims of organised violence and human rights violations. In all areas of its work and in all activities, OMEGA seeks to follow the guide of the WHO- definition of health: Health is not only the absence of illness, but complete physical, social and psychological well-being.
Omega Health Care Centre was renamed in 2009 and is now called Omega – transcultural Centre for mental and physical health and integration. Omega is a non governmental, politically independent and non-profit organisation whose main objective is to provide care, assistance and treatment using a family oriented approach for persons who are victims of violence as well as human rights violations.
Omega is a provider of medical, psychological and social counselling, as well as a treatment centre for asylum seekers,refugees and immigrants. Community based psychosocial programmes for children, adolescents and women are a vital part of the services that are being offered by Omega.
The multidisciplinary team incorporates physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, public health specialist, financial, administrative and communications staff, social workers, teachers, legal specialist, cultural interpreters and translators. The regular staff employed by Omega number 36 Persons as well as many contracted workers such as translators. Around 50 % of the staff are persons representing 14 different nations and cultures. The interaction between local persons and immigrants alone has brought about understanding and tolerance for cultural differences and has lead to developing a model of good practice. Omega in itself represents a model leading to social cohesion between various cultures and is being transported further in other contexts.
Omega – Transcultural Centre for mental and physical health and integration has been carrying out EU supported projects for over 15 years. Omega has been supported by different sources of EU funding including ERF, EIF, Daphne, INTI, EIDHR, UNVFVT, EAHC, PAVT ERASMUS and Return etc. Some of the most successfully implemented programmes have been Co-ordination of the “Medical Network for Social Reconstruction in former Yugoslavia, Training programmes for “Helpers” in the psychosocial field in former Yugoslavia, coordinator function in European networking concerning Children’s Rights, refugee health and cultural activities, Public Health projects for marginalised groups, Projects for the integration of refugees into the labour market as well as advocacy work like lecturing, informing and raising public awareness. Omega has also carried out surveys and research in the fields of public health and integration.