From the team at Recovery Support, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year.
We recognise that this time of year can be challenging for those who have lost loved ones or facing unexpected changes due to road trauma. There is no right or wrong way to cope or to do Christmas.
At Christmas time, we can expect ourselves to be happy and engage in our usual traditions, such as meals with family.
After a big event, like a road crash, familiar things can feel changed. Therefore, Christmas might still have moments of happiness, and now it might also have sadness or reminders of how your life is different after the crash. We can’t magically put our memories and feelings on hold just because it is Christmas, so if you can, listen to what you need on the day and give yourself permission to not be ok.
Everyone has different needs, but here are some Self-Care Tips to alleviate your emotions:
- Take some time out. It might be to cry, to reminisce, or just to have some space.
- Only participate in things that you want to do. Limit your responsibilities.
- Talk to someone who will be validating and listen to you.
- Allow yourself to get caught up in distractions and things you enjoy doing.
- All things in moderation: even things that are not typically “healthy” coping strategies, can be ok if they are just to get us through one day. E.g. avoiding things we can’t face right now, comfort eating, that extra beer or glass of wine (responsibly of course).
We hope you find support and solace through family, friends, and in sharing of traditions, rituals and memories.
Our fact sheet on Coping with Grief During Special Occasions and Anniversaries provides some key information to assist you to support yourself, or someone who is grieving during these times.
Please note our offices will be closed from COB on Thursday 24th December and will reopen on 4th January. If you require immediate support during this time contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2020
Last month we held the National World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Over 30 guests joined us in remembering and recognising the lives of those affected (either directly or indirectly) by road trauma. This year’s theme was to Remember. Act. Support.
The Hon. Minister Michelle Roberts spoke about remembering road traffic victims, and how as a society, we need to ensure the safety of all road users. Adrian Warner, Road Safety Commissioner, spoke about working towards zero road deaths. Ms Anne Rigby Hatton spoke movingly about the loss of a family member due to a road crash and the support she received afterwards.
Thank you to all that attended this important day.
Update on Regional Visits and Events
This quarter has been very busy for the team, visiting, presenting and attending road safety events within the metropolitan area and beyond.
Earlier this month, we presented at the Department of Justice – Victim Support and Child Witness Regional Conference.
This session focused on sharing with regional staff the incidence and impact of road trauma within Western Australia, and how Road Trauma Support WA can provide support at a Statewide level through their in-person, telephone and video counselling and support service.
This was a wonderful opportunity for the team to share our knowledge and experience while learning from another community support agency about how our services compliment each other with a focus on supporting local communities.
The team were invited to present information sessions as part of National Road Safety Week in Busselton and Guilderton.
The City of Busselton invited us to present After a Road Crash: Supporting Yourself and Others. This session was attended by surrounding regional St John’s Ambulance teams who shared their experience of being on scene at road crashes and valued the opportunity to learn more about common reactions after road trauma.
Guilderton Neighbourhood Watch together with Shire of Gingin invited us to present the same information session After a Road Crash: Supporting Yourself and Others to the Guilderton Community, with attendance from St John’s Ambulance, Shire of Gingin staff, Roadwise and community members. The session provided an opportunity for members of the community to share their experience of road trauma as a small country town and provided practical tools on what to look out for and how to assist themselves and others who may be affected by a road crash.
Mental and Physical Safety (MaPS) on our Roads program
Since the launch of the Your MaP to Recovery: After a Road Crash campaign in September, we have noticed a significant increase in social media traffic to the MaPS webpages including many valuable conversations taking place within our Facebook adverts and posts.
Clare had some early starts during this quarter to present Your MaP to Recovery: After a Road Crash toolbox sessions and a lunchtime session with Goldstar Transport staff. All workshops were well received with many comments regarding the helpfulness of the content.
Goldstar Transport has been a great supporter of the MaPS on our Roads project since we started – so we would like to take the opportunity to thank them, for their commitment to supporting their staff and participating in training activities available through the project.
If you drive a heavy vehicle, work in the industry, or interested in how you can support your staff after a road crash, download a copy of the Your MaP to Recovery: After a Road Crash Toolkit or contact us for more information.
The team is now planning for the next campaign, Your MaP to a Healthy Lifestyle: Fuel your Body, due to start in April 2021. Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org on how you can get involved.
The Injury Matters team acknowledged and participated in NAIDOC Week celebrations. As a team we learned via webinar about the journey of the Uluru Statement towards voice, treaty and truth, with Thomas Mayor and how to give an authentic Acknowledgement of Country. Both webinars were inspiring and informative.
Tips in Staying Alert While Driving this Holiday
With the holiday season nearly upon us many of us will be planning road trips around the State or Interstate. Here are some tips to help manage your fatigue when driving
- Don’t begin your journey tired. Ensure you are well rested before you start your journey.
- Have a break before you get tired. Plan regular breaks along the journey.
- Keep your vehicle well ventilated. Open your windows and let fresh air in during regular intervals.
- If there is a passenger, they should stay awake and alert during the whole journey.
- Gentle stretch your legs, roll your ankles, stretch your back and complete shoulder rotations.
Wishing you all a safe and rested journey!
Reference: Dr Nick Mabbott via TransafeWA website
We Need Space To Keep You Safe Campaign
Heavy vehicle drivers are proud of their safe driving records, but at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, we know some people might feel a little intimidated by sharing the road with them.
Trucks are difficult to manoeuvre, have large blind spots and constantly have to navigate unpredictable traffic. Yet four out of five fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles are not the heavy vehicle driver’s fault.