The Victorian Government and Transport Accident Commission (TAC) are supporting the health of Victorians affected by road trauma – with a particular focus on men, who are overrepresented in the road toll each year.
Marking International Men’s Health Week, Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC Danny Pearson today joined the Transport Accident Commission to highlight the ongoing health impacts of road trauma in Victoria and raise awareness of the support services that are available.
Tragically, 145 people have lost their lives on Victorian roads this year, up from 106 at the same time in 2022 – taking an enormous emotional toll on families, friends, workplaces and communities.
98 of this year’s fatalities are men – and each year, the TAC sees first-hand the hidden and ripple effects of road trauma as it supports those affected, including with their mental health, which can be a real barrier to men returning to their lives after road trauma.
Each year more than 14,500 Victorians become TAC clients – more than half (54 per cent) of them men – with around 7,000 clients receiving mental health support.
Last financial year, the TAC provided benefits to more than 43,000 people who were either injured on Victorian roads or had their lives and health impacted by road trauma.
Whether involved in a transport accident themselves or having lost a loved one, people often experience overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety or guilt that can drastically influence their day-to-day lives.
At some point in their lives, one in eight men will experience depression and one in five will experience anxiety, and because these conditions can be brought on or aggravated by road trauma, having access to resources to manage mental health is critical.
Mental health services that the TAC offers its clients include counselling, mental health specialists and outreach services, psychology, social work and family counselling.
Additionally, Amber Community, funded by the Labor Government via the TAC, provides free counselling services for Victorians impacted by road trauma, and can also help people who have been involved in a transport accident regain their confidence in returning to driving.
The Labor Government delivered the Australian-first Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System and since 2020 has invested more than $6 billion to rebuild the system from the ground up. Work is underway on 90 per cent of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.
The Victorian Budget 2023/24 delivers a $776 million boost to mental health and wellbeing and alcohol and other drug services across the state.
For more information, or to determine the most suitable resource for you, please visit tac.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC Danny Pearson
“No one ever thinks road trauma will happen to them – but we know the profound impact that it can have on individuals and communities, that is why we continue to support those affected to get their lives back on track.”
“Supporting people in their mental health recovery after experiencing road trauma is as crucial as the support for physical injuries.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams
“We know how important accessible mental health support is for everyone, so we are delighted to be able to continue providing free counselling through Amber Community.”
Quotes attributable to TAC Acting CEO Tony Dudley
“Too many people suffer physically and mentally due to road trauma, and we know that men are overrepresented not only in the number of people injured and killed on roads, but in those who struggle silently in the wake of loss.”
“The TAC is here to help people impacted by road trauma and if you’re grieving in silence without the support you need, there are many ways that we can help, and we urge people to reach out.”