Road Trauma Support WA Winter eNews 2021

Injury Matters | June 25, 2021

The Road Trauma Support team have had a busy few months with client counselling demand, regional travel, community workshops and information sessions and Injury Matters advocacy activities, including releasing the 2021 State Election Priorities and the Road Trauma in Western Australia Position Paper.

Injury Matters has been engaged in road trauma advocacy activities over the last few months, including the Injury Matters 2021 WA State Election Priorities and the Road Trauma in Western Australia Position Paper. Injury Matters utilises evidence to inform our position statements, programs and services for improved Public Health in Western Australia. Both papers can be viewed through the Injury Matters website at https://injurymatters.org.au/position-statements/.

Winter can be the most dangerous time of year on our roads. With the wet weather here, a timely reminder to consider the road conditions, road environment and travel safely on our roads. When driving in wet or hazardous weather, RAC recommends:

  • Turn on your headlights
  • Reduce your speed
  • Avoid puddles
  • De-mist your windscreen
  • Leave a safe distance
  • Take flooded roads seriously
  • Manage aquaplaning: Don’t brake harshly, slowly ease off the accelerator and don’t try turning the steering wheel.
RTS WA Survey Now closed

2021 Road Trauma Support WA Survey is now closed

Thank you to everyone that took the time to complete the annual survey.

Your feedback helps ensure that Injury Matters continues to deliver a quality service and can continue to support any Western Australian affected by road trauma.  

Beach in Broome

Road Trauma in Western Australia Position Paper

Injury Matters has released the Road Trauma Support in Western Australia Position Paper. The paper outlines Injury Matters commitment to continue to support individuals affected by road trauma in WA and advocate for collective action to reduce the incidence of road crashes.

The paper provides an overview of the incidence of road crashes in WA, the psychological impact of road traffic crashes, mental health care following road trauma, supporting people impacted by road trauma and Injury Matters critical policy statements to reduce the prevalence and impact of road trauma in WA.

RTS WA team with Lake Grace team

Update on Regional Visits and Events

This quarter has been busy for the team, visiting regional areas to support local communities and emergency responders impacted by road trauma.

Late May, Injury Matters visited Kalgoorlie to meet with first responders to discuss the impact of road trauma within Western Australia and how the Road Trauma Support Service WA can support regional areas through information and resources, education and training and in-person, telephone and video counselling.

Injury Matters also visited Busselton in late May. We had the opportunity to meet with WACHS Bunbury and the Shire of Harvey to discuss the Road Trauma Support Program and opportunities to collaborate and share resources and information.

The Williams Police Station invited us to present After a Road Crash: Supporting yourself and others on Tuesday 22nd June. The session was attended by 64 people, including the community, first responders, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, St John Ambulance and police. The session provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about the impacts of road trauma, common reactions after road trauma, grief and loss and how to support yourself and others, including young people and children.

Lake Grace Community Resource Centre invited the Road Trauma Support Team to present a half-day workshop on ‘Understanding Grief and Loss: Supporting yourself and others’ on Wednesday 23rd June. The session provided an opportunity for community members to share their experience of road trauma in a small country town. The workshop offered practical tools for looking out for and assisting themselves and others impacted by a road crash.

Injury Matters will be visiting Albany, Bremmer Bay and Katanning from 7th-11th July and Busselton in early August. More details of the visit will be available soon on the Road Trauma Support Service WA website.

If you would like us to visit your group or workplace while in the region, connect with us on 1300 004 814 or aelari@injurymatters.org.au.

Truck depot

Mental and Physical Safety on our Roads program

Since we spoke to you last, the MaPS on our Roads team have been busy spreading the word about the importance of nutrition, metabolism and the impacts of medications on our driving as we age.

Did you know that 75% of crashes in Western Australia are due to a mistake, a momentary lapse in attention or being tired? At Injury Matters, we know that the right balance of nutrition can give you the resilience you need for a hard day on the road.

We’re also eager to raise awareness of the common side effects of medications: things such as dizziness, fatigue, mood swings and reduced concentration. Find out more about the impacts of medication by watching our short Information Session here,

For a collection of our best resources on medication and nutrition, check out our Toolkit below.

Regional farm road

Rural Road Safety Month August

Did you know that rural road crashes account for more than 65% of the Australian road toll? The rate of serious road-related injury among residents in rural areas is nearly twice that of those in major cities.

Rural Road Safety Month is a national awareness campaign targeting regional and rural road safety. It is a chance for all of us to be involved in making the roads safer. There are many ways to get involved and Choose Road Safety from changing an in car behaviour to hosting an event in your local community.

We encourage local road safety advocates, communities, schools, sporting groups and workplaces to support the month through hosting local events and sharing road safety information among staff, students, colleagues, family and friends. Make a pledge to #Choose Road Safety.

Woman in bed sleepless

Mental health and wellbeing apps 

Mental Health apps have great potential to help people needing support to cope with distress. In our increasingly connected lives, mental health apps can encourage individuals to be more aware of their mood, behaviour and potential trigger points and suggest healthy and positive mental health habits that can be incorporated into your daily routine. 

The Road Trauma Support team have put together some popular and evidence-informed Mental Health apps to help you get started. Mental Health apps should not replace a mental health professional, and we encourage you to speak to your therapist or general practitioner about the use of apps alongside therapy.  

Some apps that you can start with include: 

Smiling Mind – a free mindfulness app. A tool developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance back.  

Chats for Life – the app helps you plan a conversation with someone that you may be concerned about, who may be struggling or not going well. Get tips on how you may support their mental health and wellbeing.  

Mood Mission – an evidence-based app designed to empower you to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety by discovering new and better ways of coping 

Self Help Anxiety Management – self-help for managing anxiety 

Check out ReachOut for more reviewed mobile apps to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. 

Alyson ElariErin Thomas

RTSWA team updates 

Alyson Elari (L) has worked at Injury Matters for six years and has recently moved into the new role as Recovery Support Coordinator- Community Engagement. Alyson coordinates the delivery of recovery projects, including campaigns, community education and resources.

Alyson holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion from Curtin University and brings extensive experience working in road safety and injury prevention. Alyson’s interests include spending time with family and friends and exploring the great outdoors.  

Erin Thomas (R) has joined the team as Recovery Support Coordinator – Workforce Engagement, focused on working alongside the heavy vehicle industry to co-create the MaPS on our Roads project.

Erin holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours and a Master of Human Rights. Her interests include camping, hiking, literature and travel.

Welcome to the team, Alyson and Erin!