Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Coronial Counselling Service

When people become involved with the State coronial system, it is often under extremely difficult and generally traumatic circumstances. When a family member dies suddenly you may feel a great sense of powerlessness, confusion and a loss of control over your life.

In recognition of this a counselling service within the Office of the State Coroner has been established to facilitate communication between the next of kin and all other parties and provide counselling and support at this difficult time.

As a coronial inquiry is an extended process that may take many months to complete we may be able to assist you with the following:

The coronial inquiry process - Provide updated information on request as to the status of the inquiry and answer questions raised by the family.

Objection to post mortem examination - We can explain your rights under the Coroners Act, discuss the implications of placing an Objection and inform you of how long it will take to process.

The post mortem process - Explain the medical examination and scientific tests that are required to determine a cause of death.

Medical terminology - Explaining the cause of death in an understandable way and any implications for your family.

Organ retention issues - In a minority of cases following a post mortem examination it may be necessary for a body organ to be retained for further examination. If this is the case a counsellor will contact you to discuss and explain the situation.

Role of children - We can provide information on ways of talking to children about death, how they can be included in the funeral and how they express their grief.

Viewings - We offer support to family members attending the State mortuary to view the body of a loved one.

Counselling - At this difficult time you may find we can assist with some grief counselling or arrange referral to other community agencies or professional counsellors. This may include support groups appropriate to your needs.

File Viewing - Arrange for you to view the police file either prior to or following the Coroner completing a Finding.

Inquest Preparation - Advise you about your rights when attending an Inquest and arrange for court support if you wish during the Inquest.

Contact Us

A duty counsellor is available between 7:00am and 6:00pm daily. During office hours please phone (08) 9425 2900 or 1800 671 994 for country callers. A counsellor is available after hours on 0419 904 476.

We accept direct referrals from family members and friends or police, hospital staff and welfare agencies may make a referral to the service.

Last updated: 11-Dec-2017

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