Member for Morwell, Chair of Latrobe L2P and member of the Shine a Light on Road Safety committee, Russell Northe this week in Parliament requested that road trauma support and counselling services be extended into the Gippsland region. Mr Northe said he had spoken with two local mums in Carola Atkin and Lisa Cook who both sadly lost their children in car accidents.
“Carol and Lisa have conveyed to me their experiences during their time of grief and the lengths that they were forced to undertake to receive support and counselling,” Mr Northe said.
“Despite regional Victoria experiencing more road fatalities than metropolitan Melbourne it appears that specific road trauma counselling and support services are only located in Melbourne.
“For a person or persons to have to either travel to Melbourne for an appointment or speak with a specialist on the phone just doesn’t seem fair and that is the experience that Carola and Lisa and their families had to endure.”
Mr Northe said road trauma causes untold grief amongst families and community and its imperative that family members and loved ones are adequately supported by the provision of professional and specific road trauma counselling services.
“The reality is this is not the case in the Gippsland region and I therefore call upon the Andrews Government to extend these services into Gippsland and other regional areas of Victoria.”
Local mother, Carola Atkin said losing a loved one to road trauma results in a very specific type of grief. Sadly, I couldn’t find anyone locally who understood this or could support me through the process. “If it wasn’t for a friend recommending a Melbourne-based phone counselling service specialising in road trauma, I don’t know how I would have coped, but relying on a weekly phone call isn’t ideal,” Ms Atkin said. “Country areas experience higher rates of road trauma than metropolitan or suburban areas, yet country people remain isolated and have to go to greater lengths to get help.
“Giving Gippsland a local service would help so many people, families of the victims, first on scene and emergency services personnel who have to face this horror on a regular basis.”
Media contact: 5133 9088