Supporting those affected by the Fishmongers' Hall attack
Following the terror attack on London Bridge (Fishmongers' Hall) on Monday 29 November 2019, in which two people were tragically killed, work continues to provide care, treatment and support to all those affected.
Information and support is available to anyone affected by the Fishmongers’ Hall attack. If you or someone you know needs assistance, details of how to access a full range of support can be found on the Victims of Terrorism Campaign website.
Support is available on a number of subjects and from a range of organisations. If you are under 16 years of age, some providers may need your permission to contact your parent or guardian before they can offer additional services.
If you are worried about your emotional or mental health, or that of someone else, as a result of the attack there are things you can do that might help
- Take time out to get sufficient sleep (your normal amount), rest and relax, and eat regularly and healthily.
- Tell people what you need. Talk to people you trust. You don’t have to tell everyone everything but telling nobody anything is often unhelpful.
- Take care at home or when driving or riding – accidents are more common during or after a traumatic or stressful event.
- Try to reduce outside demands on you and don’t take on extra responsibilities for the time being.
- Make time to go to a place where you feel safe and calmly go over what happened in your mind. Don’t force yourself to do this if the feelings are too strong at the moment
- Bottle up these feelings. Think whether it would be helpful to talk about them with somebody you trust. The memories may not disappear straight away.
- Get embarrassed by your feelings and thoughts, or those of others. They are normal reactions to a very stressful event.
- Avoid people you trust
The NHS can help out in many ways, you and your family can
- get help, advice and support from your GP
- adults can refer themselves directly to NHS psychological therapies services across England.
You may also find the NHS Trauma Leaflet at the bottom of this page helpful. It outlines common reactions and simple suggestions for how to cope. It outlines longer term reactions following traumatic experiences, and how to get help if you are still worried about yourself or someone else.
Building resilience to terrorism
When terrorist events occur, it is common to feel anxious and concerned about the future. There are some helpful tips produced by the American Psychological Association on building resilience to manage indirect exposure to terrorism
Although aimed at an American audience the tips they suggest to build resilience — the ability to adapt well to unexpected changes and events — can help people manage distress and uncertainty, particularly after experiencing a traumatic event.
Many of the suggestions they offer are essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle, and adopting them can improve your overall emotional and physical well-being.
Helping children cope with a disaster or traumatic event
Seeing repeated images of a disaster in the media can intensify people’s distress.
Early on, consider limiting the amount of exposure you want for yourself and your loved ones. The American Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have produced this helpful guidance on helping children cope during and after disasters.
Child Bereavement UK
Child Bereavement UK have developed an app called ‘Grief’ it has been created by a group of bereaved young people working directly with Child Bereavement UK. It is aimed at 11-25 year old’s who have lost someone important to them.
It can also be used by friends, teachers, parents and professionals who would like to know how to support bereaved young people.
The app has information about:
- how others can help
It includes a built-in notepad so you can write down how you are feeling and also links to Child Bereavement UK’s website where you can find support organisations near you. The website also provides information and support about grief, dealing with your feelings and finding support, as well as tips from young people on handling special occasions, visit Child Bereavement UK to find out more.
The Grief app, is free of charge and can be downloaded at the App Store.
Victim Support offer emotional and practical support to those affected by traumatic events, those who are a victim of crime and friends, family and any other people involved. Their team of highly trained professionals can support you over the phone or through their live chat service.
Caseworkers will work with you to assess your needs. They will give you advice or refer you to other specialist organisations that can help.
You can contact them by
- Phone - 08 08 16 89 111 (national 24-hour Support Line)
Survivors Assistance Network (SAN)
The SAN network can support you to go from victim to survivor.
They will talk to you about what help and support you need and help you get it. Some of the things they can help you with are
- finding local organisations that can support you, and putting you in touch with them.
- helping you to meet up with other people affected, this can really help you feel less alone.
- keeping in touch with you, just to see how you’re doing.
You can contact them for help
- by calling 01925 581240
- by emailing Survivors Assistance Network
- by visiting Survivors Assistance Network website
Parents and carers supporting bereaved children
Losing someone important to you is one of the hardest things to experience in life. If you’re young, bereavement can be even more difficult. But support and advice are available to help you get through it.
Emotions after bereavement
Grieving is a natural part of recovering from a bereavement, and everyone’s experience of grief is different. There are no rules about what we should feel and for how long.
But many people find they feel a mixture of the following
- shock, particularly if the death was unexpected
- relief, if the death followed a long period of illness
- guilt and regret
- despair and helplessness
These feelings may be very intense, particularly in the early days and weeks. Time eventually helps these intense emotions subside, and there’s no need to feel guilty about starting to feel better. It doesn’t mean we’re not respecting the person’s memory or forgetting about them.
There are several things that can help people to start to feel better. Looking after your health and talking to someone will help you get through this difficult time.
Finding support for bereavement
Talking about grief is an important part of getting through a bereavement.
Choosing who to talk to about our feelings is a very personal decision. Sometimes the most unlikely person can actually offer the most support.
If you’ve lost a family member, someone else in your family may also be good to open up to because they’re likely to understand how you’re feeling.
A close friend can be a good listener and a source of comfort and support, even if they haven’t gone through this themselves.
There are lots of other sources of advice and support available, including:
Websites and blogs
Such as Hope Again, a website for young people going through a bereavement, where you can find information, read other people’s experiences, and add your own; the Child Bereavement Charity websites also offer information and advice (search Child Bereavement in your search engine).
Such as the Cruse Bereavement young people’s helpline on 0844 477 9400.
Especially if you’re concerned you’re not coping, might be depressed, have trouble eating or sleeping, are thinking about hurting yourself, or you’re not starting to feel better after a few months: they may suggest you have counselling.
Winston’s Wish (WW)
A national charity supporting children and their families after the death of a parent or sibling. Their website includes information and guidance on the needs of children and young people when someone important in their life has died. It includes helpful tips and important reminders for parents and carers supporting a bereaved child.
WW also runs a UK-wide national email and telephone service offering support, information and advice to anyone. They are staffed by people with extensive experience and the ASK email service has up to date knowledge of supporting bereaved children and their families.
Email Winston's Wish or call 08088 020 021 (calls are free and confidential. Open 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays)).
A teacher or tutor
You may be distracted or find it hard to concentrate at school or college for a while, so talking to a teacher you feel comfortable with can help them understand what you’re going through and take a bit of pressure off you; special circumstances, such as bereavement, can sometimes be taken into account if you’re having trouble with coursework or exams.
The media may want to interview you. Interacting with the media following such experiences is a significant decision as media exposure can positively or negatively impact your recovery process.
Being a victim of crime or having a loved one who has been victimised does not mean that you have to give up your right to privacy. If you do not wish to speak to the media you can refuse at any time. Those who choose to share their story publicly may feel anxious about an upcoming interview. Being well-prepared in advance of the interview will help reduce these feelings.
There are some useful resources you can refer to for help
If the Media Calls
The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime has produced a helpful guide for crime victims and survivors on dealing with media. It is intended to help crime victims and survivors work effectively and comfortably with the media (or to decline to do so) and helps victims prepare for interacting with many forms of media. Read the guide.
On dealing with the media. Members of Disaster Action, themselves bereaved people and survivors from disasters, have reflected on their personal experiences as of being approached and interviewed by journalists and researchers. The aim of the personal reflections and guidelines for interviewers leaflet is to offer first-hand experience on the pros and cons of being interviewed as well as offering guidance on the preparation, conduct and use of interviews.
Disability and bereavement support
You may be entitled to financial support if you are unable to work as a result of being affected by the attack.
The Department for Work and Pensions
DWP provides advice about a range of payments and benefits relating to bereavement and information about Carers and Disability Benefits.
Victim Support can also provide ongoing emotional support and assistance with applying for disability and bereavement support through the DWP. Visit the Victim Support website to request support.
Victim Support can provide assistance with compensation claims from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You can find more information on the Victim Support website.
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, injured victims, or the families of those killed can apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
If you have been bereaved or suffered a personal injury as a result of the incident call the CICA helpline on 0300 003 3601 for more information.
You may be able to get free independent advice from local support services or other charitable organisations to apply to CICA for compensation. You do not need a paid representative, such as a solicitor or claims management company.
The CICA’s compensation Guide provides more information.