This is a brief guide aimed at anyone exposed to a traumatic incident.
The emotional effects will be felt by survivors, bereaved families, friends, rescue workers, healthcare workers and the general public. If you witnessed or lost someone in a recent incident you are most likely to feel distressed by it.
Reactions to the event are likely to be strongest in those closest to the incident, who directly witnessed the aftermath, and who were involved in the immediate rescue and care of victims and survivors.
In the early stages, psychological professional help is not usually necessary. Many people recover naturally from these events. However, some people may need additional support to help them cope. For example, people who have had other traumatic events happen to them and people with previous mental health difficulties may be more at risk.
It is recommended that you seek professional support if a month after the event you are still experiencing the following difficulties:
Feeling upset and fearful
Finding it difficult to stop thinking about the incident
Feeling more irritable
Feeling more jumpy
Struggling to work or look after your home and family