NHS Support

Mental health support for those affected by a terror attack

Terror attacks can be traumatic for all those involved. Whilst people are generally resilient, traumatic events can have a lasting psychological impactfor several months or even years later. 

Common difficulties associated with trauma include feelings of fear, anger, shame and guilt or having unwanted distressing thoughts or memories of the incident. People may also have sleep difficulties and be less interested in pleasant activities or hobbies.

Everyone responds to trauma differently and the NHS can provide mental health support to people who are struggling or feeling intense emotions:

  • Adults can refer themselves directly to NHS psychological therapies services across England. The NHS website has information on how to find services near to where you live
  • Children and young people can access mental health services through their GP.
  • Those who are struggling to keep themselves safe should seek advice either their GP, NHS 111 or in an emergency visit A&E
  • Read an NHS leaflet which gives advice on coping after a traumatic event
  • Read our leaflet on how to cope with the anniversary of a traumatic event

Support from other organisations

Victim Supportline

Victim Support operates a 24/7 Support line, offering immediate and long term emotional and practical support for anyone affected by an attack. You may have been directly involved, witnessed it or you feel impacted by the event. The number is 0808 168 9111 and is free to call.

Support can be offered by phone, face to face or through information online.

Read more information on all Victim Support services.  

Samaritans

Samaritans offer emotional support and a safe place to talk at any time. The number is 116 123 and is free to call from any phone or you can email jo@samaritans.org.

Childline

Childline is a free, private and confidential service for those under 19 in the UK, helping them deal with any issue which causes distress or concern. The number is 0800 1111.

NSPCC

The NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 provides parents or carers with advice on how to speak to a child about a terror incident. This is also the number to dial if you are worried that a child is being radicalised or at risk of radicalisation.

TfL incident support service

TfL offer support for those who have been injured in, or affected by, a serious incident on the TfL network. You can call the Sarah Hope Line on 0343 222 5678, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. A voicemail service operates outside of these hours. You can also reach them by email at SHL@tfl.gov.uk.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross is a national humanitarian organisation which supports people in crisis. Helplines are set up for specific incidents to provide emotional support and practical guidance, such as information on welfare or financial aid. This support is also delivered after an incident at an assistance centre or outreach site or at specific events connected to the tragedy. More information on all their services following an emergency is available on the British Red Cross website.

Peace Foundation Survivors’ Assistance Network

The Peace Foundation Survivors’ Assistance Network provides specialist support for all those in the UK affected by terrorist attacks at home or overseas, including witnesses and family members. The number is 01925 581 240 or you can email SAN@foundation4peace.org.

They provide tailored, personalised assistance plans for victims soon after a terrorist incident has occurred, help to address longer term support needs and support a sense of personal safety and well-being. Victims will also be able to participate in supportive group activity and remembrance events to help them rebuild their lives. More information is available at www.survivorsassistancenetwork.org.

National Homicide Service

The National Homicide Service provides emotional, practical and specialist support to families bereaved by murder or manslaughter, including where this has occurred as an act of terrorism. The number is 0808 168 9111 and is free to call.

The service is provided by Victim Support. You can contact the National Homicide Services directly or be referred by a police family liaison officer, if appropriate.

Bereavement support

Cruse Bereavement Care is a national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Cruse offers support to adults, young people and children when someone dies, whatever the circumstances.

Their free phone helpline 0808 808 1677 is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can also email them on helpline@cruse.org.uk. More information on all their services is available at www.cruse.org.uk.

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