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Planning and Hosting a Trauma-informed Event

When hosting a road safety community event or facilitating a presentation, it is important to consider the impact of the content and the way it is presented, to ensure it is safe for all individuals attending.

Events that have activities relating to trauma, grief, and loss or have guest speakers sharing lived experience stories, can elicit a range of emotional and psychological responses for some individuals attending or presenting.

Previously experiencing trauma such as being in a car crash or grieving the loss of a loved one are just some examples of what may trigger someone during an event or presentation.  

When organising your event, we encourage you to contact Road Trauma Support WA for information and resources on how to plan your event, so it is trauma informed and safe for all to attend.

Planning and Hosting a Trauma-Informed Event Toolkit (resources coming soon).

The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) has developed an easy-to-use resource to help organisations ensure that events or activities follow trauma-informed principles. You can use this as a guide when planning and hosting events: Trauma Informed Events Checklist and Policy and Protocol

Before the event:

Provide clear and transparent communication before the event to both attendees and presenters, which outlines what activities are involved including the potential for distressing or traumatic content. 

This pre-event information can also highlight it may not be appropriate for all individuals to attend. Individuals at risk for experiencing a heightened response to trauma material include:  

  • Individuals who have been previously involved in a car crash. 
  • Individuals who have lost someone in a crash. 
  • Individuals who have recently experienced a traumatic event.  
  • Individuals who have experienced a recent loss. 
  • An individual experiencing severe and persistent mental ill-health. 

During the event:

In the opening, include a content warning about the activity or content being potentially distressing. Clearly describe the location of a quiet and confidential space, for those who may require some time out, and emphasise it is okay to access at any time. 

Acknowledgment of lived experience helps to create a sense of safety and trust for both attendees and presenters. Acknowledgement of lived experience can be done verbally at the beginning of the event by a speaker or through using visual aids.  

Road Trauma Support WA have two resources which can be adapted for an event: 

  • Trauma-Informed Introduction: Acknowledging Lived Experience 
  • Acknowledgement of Lived Experience PowerPoint 

After the event:

Include in all post-event communication where people can go for support if the event has raised any concerns or had a distressing impact. Post-event support may include contact details of local mental health providers, school counsellors, or other relevant phone/online support services such as Road Trauma Support WA.

Road Trauma Support have helpful resources for individuals to take home with them: 

It is recommended to include crisis line contact information in post-event communications to ensure presenters and attendees have access to 24/7 phone support if required:  

  • Lifeline 13 11 14 
  • Lifeline Text Service 0477 13 11 14 
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 
  • Rural Link: 1800 552 002 
  • 13 YARN 13 92 76

Reach out to us for information and resources on how to plan your event so it is safe for all to attend. Our team can also provide psychological first aid support at re-enactment and road safety events with lived experience presenters (fees may apply).  Contact us for more information about road trauma counselling, support and education programs and resources at 1300 004 814 (free call) or [email protected].

Find out more

Injury Matters delivers the Road Trauma Support WA service through funding by the Road Trauma Trust Account and contract management by the Road Safety Commission.

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