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Support for people affected by the attack on Manchester Arena

Support for people affected by the attack on Manchester Arena
26 May 2017

Information for children, young people, families and adults following the attack on Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017

Information for Children and Young People and Families

Following the tragic incident at the MEN Arena on 22 May, we recognise that many children and young people and parents/carers supporting children and young people will be shocked and saddened by what took place. Children and young people in particular may have questions and it can be difficult to know what to say. 

There are approaches that support children and young people through this time more effectively which include:

  • Let them know that you understand their feelings;
  • Listen to children, give them the opportunity to talk if and when they want to;
  • Be consistent and reassuring;
  • Continue to keep routines and normal daily activities;
  • Keep in touch with school/college about supporting a consistent approach;
  • Keep them from seeing too much of the frightening pictures of the event.

Here are some guidelines on how you can respond to children and young people. We have  included some links for more detailed guidance for children, young people parents/carers and professionals. Many young people do not go on to develop mental health conditions and recover naturally; however, if symptoms are severe or continue beyond two to four weeks further specialist mental health advice and support can be accessed via your GP or schools/colleges. 

Advice if you're upset or made anxious by the news:

(Appropriate for children and young people primary school age and upwards)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/13865002 

(Appropriate for older young people 13-25 years)

 www.themix.org.uk 

Coping after a traumatic event:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/copingafteratraumaticevent.aspx 

Supporting children after a frightening event: for parents/carers/professionals:

http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/medical-information-0/procedures-and-treatments/supporting-children-after-frightening-event

  https://childbereavementuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/1.4b-Supporting-children-after-a-frightening-event.pdf?noredir=true 

Talking about terrorism- Tips for Parents

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/news-opinion/supporting-children-worried-about-terrorism/

 

Information for adults

Following the tragic incident at the MEN Arena on 22 May, we recognise that many people will be shocked and saddened by what took place. Some people may be in a position where you are having to manage not only your own concerns but also trying to answer questions or support children and young people. Additionally, there is the possibility of triggering other traumatic life events that you may have experienced throughout your life. 

It is common to experience a range of symptoms when exposed to significant trauma such as the incident in Manchester on 22 May.

Those symptoms can include

  • Fear
  • Helplessness
  • Increased alertness for danger
  • Fatigue
  • Intrusive thoughts or images of the event
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of places that may remind you of the event
  • Anger
  • Anxiety

What is important is to recognise that these are normal responses to making sense of traumatic events and whilst they can be incredibly distressing, many of these symptoms will reduce over time. Support from family and friends can be powerful solutions to managing these difficult but normal experiences.

Some things that might help include: 

  • If it helps, talk to someone you feel comfortable with (friends, family, co-workers) about how you are feeling;
  • Talk at your own pace and as much as you feel it’s useful;
  • Be willing to listen to others who may need to talk about how they feel;
  • Take time to grieve and cry if you need to. Letting feelings out is helpful in the long run;
  • Ask for emotional and practical support from friends, family members, your community or religious centre;
  • Try to return to everyday routines and habits. They can be comforting and help you feel less out of sorts. Look after yourself: eat and sleep well, exercise and relax;
  • Try to spend some time doing something that feels good and that you enjoy;
  • Be understanding about yourself. 

Many people go on to recover but some people may require additional help and if symptoms persist beyond two to four weeks then it is worth seeking further advice. 

Additional information can be found here:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/copingafteratraumaticevent.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx 

https://www.psychology.org.au/publications/tip_sheets/trauma/

 

 

 

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