ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Road Trauma Counselling Service

Parker, Claire, Parsons, Julie, Pettet, Terri-Anne

Road Trauma/Rehabilitation


Whilst much attention is focused on primary and secondary prevention strategies in road safety, little consideration is given to tertiary intervention.

We sprout the road toll, the number of deaths and injuries, we estimate the financial burden of road trauma and the cost to the community, we provide equipment to emergency services and hospitals to treat the injured ? but what about those that are ?left behind?? The people who are traumatised as a result of witnessing a road crash ?
how do they cope in the aftermath?

This paper details the planning, consultative process, establishment, operation, promotion and evaluation of a dedicated road trauma counselling service. This free and confidential telephone counselling service has been initiated to specifically provide a service for those suffering emotional, psychological trauma as a result of road crashes.

The service is a result of an expressed need by community members and identified as a gap in service provision following consultation and research.

Emergency personnel are now able to supply witness, and/or family or friends affected by road crashes, with the 131114 telephone number to access assistance and advice in coping with impact on them.

Lifeline, in partnership with RoadWise, has a team of specially trained operators that provide this service statewide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In operation for 6 months, early evaluation results are positive (in terms of better managing road trauma) with expected demand being exceeded and consideration being given to expanding the number of lines dedicated to road trauma counselling service.