Coping with trauma

Two people having a conversation over a cup of tea.
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If you have been involved in, or affected by, a traumatic event such as a terror attack or other major incident, the NHS provides guidance on bereavement and other traumatic events.

General advice on looking after your mental wellbeing can be found on the Every Mind Matters page from the NHS.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, some things that might help include:

  • sharing your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with (friends, family, co-workers)
  • talking at your own pace and as much as you feel it’s useful
  • being willing to listen to others who may need to talk about how they feel
  • asking for emotional and practical support from friends, family members, your community or religious centre
  • trying to spend some time doing something that feels good and that you enjoy
  • trying to return to everyday routines and habits – they can be comforting and help you feel less out of sorts

If experiences and feelings persist beyond 2-4 weeks then you may wish to speak to your GP or consider self-referral to NHS Talking Therapies.

The NHS has published a leaflet with advice on coping with stress following a major incident – this includes advice on supporting children. 

Further information and resources

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has advice on coping after a traumatic event and the NHS provides information and advice on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Find out how to access mental health services from the NHS. There are different steps involved in getting mental health support for children and young people

Get help and support for victims of terrorist attacks.

For people in Scotland, the Ready Scotland website also provides information on coping with trauma.