Support for road trauma victims

When Chelsea Morrissey was told her 16-year-old daughter Ashleigh Purser had died in a drag racing accident in 2008, police gave the shocked mother a book about what to do next.

"That was it, there was nothing available (when Ashleigh died)," Ms Morrissey said.

"I was lucky enough to have support from my family and Ashleigh's friends but I probably needed more and I still need more."

It was examples like the Morrissey family that finally led to the establishment of Road Trauma Support WA last year to help those affected by road trauma to deal with the psychological and social distress they can experience.

Ms Morrissey was pleased the service would allow people to talk to a professional counsellor who was not just going to express their sympathies but understand and explain the emotional rollercoaster victims go through.

RTSWA acting manager Samantha Howkins said there was previously no service available to families, friends and witnesses left with the psychological scars of road accidents.

More than 60 people have used the service for help to deal with accidents as recent as last year to some that happened almost a decade ago.

If you or someone you knows needs support, visit rtswa.org.au or call 1300 004 814.

The West Australian

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