Seeing somebody die on the roads is traumatic and changes you, so sometimes, it can be challenging to return to normal life.
Association des Victimes de la Route (AVR) has been offering psychological support to victims of road accidents for over 20 years. Demand for this support has grown over the years.
In September 2011, John Lauer had a serious motorcycling accident. Today, eight years late, he is a young man who enjoys life to the fullest extent.
But this hasn't always been the case. Following his accident, he spent two years in a coma, and after coming round nothing was the same as before. Due to his head trauma, he struggled to remember certain things, his right arm was paralyzed and he struggled to use his hand. The physical injuries were relatively quick to heal, but the years following the accident were challenging from a psychological point of view.
Helping people like that is why AVR came to be in 1992. It is meant to be a point of contact for those who suffered directly or indirectly from a serious accident on Luxemourg's roads. Often, people are completely overwhelmed in that kind of situation. Social or psychological support can be of great help them to find their way back into everyday life.
Which doctor do I need to see following my accident? Who helps me to pay the hospital bills? What happens with the police or in court? All of these questions can be hard to answer if you don't know who to ask or where you need to look for information.
Besides organisational help, the association also offer psychological support for the victims. This type of help is very important: last year alone, the association provide psychological treatment to over 100 patients.
Treatment is aimed specifically at people who survived serious accidents. Often, those affected are incredibly anxious, even years later, and struggle to go outside and mingle with other people. Treatment of this type of trauma is challenging, as its symptoms can incapacitate a person completely. A smell or a sound can transport the person back to the moment of the accident at any point, so the person relives their fear at the moment of the accident over and over again.
Psychological changes like that can still affect people's lives decades after the incident. This has been the case for Cathrine Molitor whose best friend died after being hit by a Vespa on a pedestrian crossing. For Molitor, refuelling the car or driving a short distance were impossible. This is where psychologists from AVR can help. The right treatment can fix most of the problems.
Admitting that you need help is the first step, but finding the right help for you is just as important.
Association des Victimes de la Route can help you to do that.