Road Trauma Support WA Autumn eNews 2020

Injury Matters | April 1, 2020
Autumnal sunset over beach

2020 was already shaping to be an unusual start for Road Trauma Support WA, and this was before COVID-19!

The first few months of the calendar year are traditionally a quieter time for Road Trauma Support WA. It usually offers a time where our dedicated team can wind down a tad after the busyness of the festive season.

For 2020, this tradition changed, with our support service doubling in comparison to previous years. This came as a surprise to the team and stretched our resources pushing our counselling service to a 4 week wait time (a first for us). Nevertheless, we continued to support all inquiries and calls to the service and are now back to operating with a 2-week wait for counselling.  The flexible nature of our team is the underlying strength which sees us adapt again for the COVID-19 crisis.

Amidst COVID-19, Injury Matters continues to provide support to anyone in WA impacted by a road crash through Road Trauma Support WA.  Whilst our office location in Leederville is closed, Road Trauma Support WA continues to operate with all our staff working remotely from home. 

All face to face services have been converted to phone or video. You can continue to access our support services online, by phone, email, or video. Contact us on 1300 004 814 or admin@rtswa.org.au.

This edition of eNews offers some practical advice in looking after your mental health and wellbeing during these tricky time. In the meantime, keep safe and be sure to connect with your friends and family and reach out to us if you are in need.

COVID-19 Update to our Services

We are committed to the health and safety of our community, within our organisation and beyond. In line with government guidelines, our workforce is now working offsite to increase social distancing and protect our community from COVID-19.

Our team is striving to ensure there are no disruptions to our connection with you, so our email and phones are operating as normal. Our counselling service has shifted all in-person sessions to phone or video call for the time being.

You can still contact us on 1300 004 814 for support throughout this time.

We know this may be a stressful period for members of our community, and we believe by taking steps we can all make a difference to the health of our people, clients and the wider community.

Read more on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Self-Care in Anxious Times: The Benefits of Mindfulness

In the current times of global uncertainty, self-care is extremely important in ensuring our well-being and building our resilience and capacity to manage stress.

Self-care is quite individual and it’s important to focus on what works for you. Self-care doesn’t require a big chunk of time to be set aside, nor does it have to involve complicated or extravagant steps. Rather, it can be lots of little things throughout the day.

Some examples of daily self-care include: 

  • Taking short body breaks throughout the workday to stretch or move around
  • Doing some mindfulness or relaxation (these can be as short as 2 or 3 minutes)
  • Eating healthily to fuel the body
  • Checking in with yourself and your emotions
  • Being kind and compassionate in your self-talk
  • Having some sort of creative release
  • Switching off social media or technology for a short period during the day

Another important area of self-care is setting and maintaining boundaries. 

Boundaries are important because they protect us, help us feel safe in relationships, and teach others in our world how to interact with us.  They provide us with limits and form parameters through which we can safely and confidently navigate the world. 

These are guidelines or limits a person create for themselves and how they interact with others. They are based on values and beliefs and are developed throughout lifetime. The personal boundaries that we set for ourselves allows us to protect and keep safe our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Boundaries can be anything from setting a consistent bedtime and wake up time, saying no to extra activities when you are already busy, to simply obeying the law.

Read more about mindfulness here.

Regional Travel
Pilbara

Injury Matters, Christine Smith joined Roadwise’s Engel Prendergast in a recent Pilbara road trip mid-March (before travel restrictions came into effect).

Through this partnered activity, Christine presented to the Hedland and Karratha Roadwise Committee meetings on the new MaPS on our Roads project initiative as well as consulted with local stakeholders and industry groups on some of the presenting issues impacting the mental and physical safety of truck drivers on our roads. 

In teaming up the pair were able to drive the regional roads from Newman to Tom Price to Hedland and then Karratha whilst experiencing and considering the interaction between all road users and navigating the passenger vehicle with  heavy haulage and freight vehicles.

This experiential learning combined with consultations with  local government,  stakeholders, industry and drivers offered valuable insight into the mental and physical contributors to driving safely on our roads.  

Notable thanks to Heather from Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls for  her experience and insight into the haulage industry, rustling up some drivers for a late afternoon chat and of course giving us the experience as  a passenger in her big pink truck!

It certainly opened up our eyes to the critical elements it takes to operate this type of vehicle and to experience the amazing view you have of our beautiful countryside, we can see why you love your job!

South West

Our team recently visited the South West in late February and delivered their new education presentation ‘After a Road Crash’ at St Johns Ambulance Bunbury training headquarters. Twelve members of the community attended the 2 hour seminar which provided information on the impact of road trauma to individuals, families and communities.

In addition to this, Injury Matters’ supported the RAC Project Road Smart event in Bunbury with a specialised road trauma counsellor to offer a listening ear over the 2 days of this event.

Read more about this trip here.

RTSWA Team Updates

We recently welcomed Sharon Knapp as Recovery Support Coordinator (Community Engagement). Sharon has lived experience of road trauma, and brings that experience to the role alongside a passion for keeping our roads safe.

Sharon will be looking at ways to best service our community and is currently looking into the feasibility of establishing a peer support service. Contact Sharon if you would like to know more about this work.

Welcome to the team, Sharon!

New Report from the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety
The Day Our World Crumbled: The Human Cost of Inaction on Road Safety

The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety recently released the People’s Survey. This survey collected responses from 5,606 individuals from 132 countries to capture how fatal and nonfatal road traffic crashes affect individuals – showing the real and personal impacts on people’s lives.

Read the report here.

New Resources
Coping with Sleep Difficulties after Road Trauma

Following road trauma – whether you were directly involved in it, lost someone you cared about or witnessed a crash – your ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep may be affected. Our dedicated fact sheet provides some strategies to assist you to sleep better. 

View the Fact Sheet here.

Order Resources from Quickmail

Alongside our free to download resources available on our website, we now have selected physical resources now available for order via our Quickmail system. These include our most commonly used brochures, like For Anyone Affected by a Road Crash, and wallet cards.

Order through Quickmail here.

With Easter coming up, it’s important to look after yourself and stay connected to your loved ones. Be safe, take a moment to be mindful and use our resources to guide you if you are struggling in this time.

Have something to share?

Let us know if you have an event or item you would like to include in our next quarterly eNews due out on 19 June 2020. Please email csmith@injurymatters.org.au with your request.