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Supporting young people and families after a traumatic incident

Traumatic events like that in Manchester on the 22nd May 2017 affect children, young people and adults around the country.  If you are working with young people or families who have been affected by a recent traumatic incident, here are some key messages and good practice guidelines.

  • Normalise responses to traumatic events.
  • Communicate effectively and regularly.
  • Make space and time to talk.
  • Leaders should be visible.
  • Keep messages consistent.
  • Immediately after a traumatic event both CYP and adults benefit most from general support and do not benefit from psychological therapy including counselling, as this could impair resilience building.
  • Do not encourage people to relive their experience. Evidence shows this leads to worse outcomes. This is different from allowing people to talk spontaneously about their experience.
  • Identify those most vulnerable to developing post traumatic mental health needs and provide additional support and monitoring
  • Many children and adults do not go onto develop mental health conditions and recover naturally, however if symptoms are severe or continue beyond four weeks, further specialist mental health advice should be sought


This information has been taken from ‘Manchester Arena Incident Yorkshire and Humber Briefing’ from Strategic Clinical Network.

June 2017

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