Red Cross continues to support the community which is still coming together in numbers to grieve and pay their respects after last Friday's tragedy in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall.
Wednesday January 25, 2017
Volunteers including Andrea support the public in Melbourne (Image RedCross/Zayne d'Crus)
Red Cross Emergency Services State Manager Angela Sutherland says more than 180 trained Red Cross volunteers have been on hand since Victoria Police activated Red Cross to provide support after the incident.
Five people died, and a further 37 people were injured after a man drove his car into pedestrians in the Mall.
Ms Sutherland says Red Cross volunteers have lent an ear or a shoulder to thousands of people at three sites where people have been placing flowers and messages around the CBD.
"We are still seeing people who are very distressed at the incident," she says.
"The emotions range from sadness, anger, gratitude, loss and grief to struggling with the challenge of 'It could have been me.'
"These are perfectly normal reactions and it's not uncommon for the community to come together and express them and talk about them at such times.
"We've been providing psychosocial support, which is a rather clinical term for reaching out to people who have experienced a traumatic event. Just by being there and providing a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on we can reduce distress and promote coping mechanisms.
"We are also giving out information about how people can care for themselves and others after a traumatic event. And if there are people who need extra help, there are psychologists in each team who we are able to call on."
Red Cross will continue to have a presence at the site for the coming days.
Red Cross has information on our website to support people to look after themselves and their loved ones during crisis events.