Manchester Arena attack: information for adults

Published on Tuesday 30 May 2017

Following the tragic incident at the MEN Arena on 22 May, 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. These 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

It is important 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 a powerful solution 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, colleagues) about how you are feeling.
  • Talk at your own pace and as much as you feel is 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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