Terrorist attacks in Tunisia: support for people affected

By United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Ministerial committee

Following the terrorist attack in Sousse on 26 June 2015, and the attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis on 18 March 2015, the Prime Minister asked Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood to chair a ministerial committee.

The committee was set up to ensure that all British nationals affected by the attacks are properly supported by the government. It will also oversee arrangements for memorial events relating to the Tunisia attacks, including a permanent memorial.

The committee met for the first time on 22 July 2015. A cross-government unit will support the ministerial committee in ensuring that families get the right help.

Read moreabout the committee and its members.

Sources of support

People bereaved in the Tunisia attacks are being supported by Police Family Liaison Officers.

Anyone feeling unwell, or overwhelmed and unable to cope as a result of their experience should speak to their GP or call NHS 111.

People bereaved or injured in the attacks may be entitled to compensation under theVictim of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme. TheCriminal Injuries Compensation Authoritycan provide further advice onapplying for compensation.

Those affected can also contact theVictims' Information Servicefor information on their entitlements to support, and the local arrangements for its provision. The information line 0808 168 9293 (freephone) provides immediate emotional and practical assistance, whilst referring victims to local arrangements as quickly as possible.

People who returned to the UK early as a result of the Tunisia attacks should contact their tour operator to find out what additional support is available.

For all those affected by the attacks, practical and emotional support is available from a range of other organisations.

The Tunisia Help Sheet lists sources of support. People affected can access this support directly or contact the unit:[email protected] 020 7008 7641 for help.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Initially when someone has been exposed to traumatic events and showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they should be assessed by a General Practitioner (GP) who will then refer the patient on to a specialist service. For the first few weeks, the intervention from the professional providing mental health care is 'watchful waiting'. This is because two thirds of people with PTSD recover in the first few weeks.

After that, the patient may receive psychotherapy, usually either Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy (EMDR). CBT tends to be useful for a wide range of mental health problems while EMDR is a treatment specifically designed for people with PTSD.

Both therapies can be provided through local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, community mental health services or through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Please note that in CAMHS, CBT is available in most places but EMDR is not commonly used in CAMHS.

For children and young people with PTSD, trauma-focused CBT is usually recommended. This will normally involve a course of 8-12 sessions that have been adapted to suit the child's age, circumstances and level of development. Where appropriate, treatment will include consulting with and involving the child's family. Treatment with medication is not usually recommended for children and young people with PTSD.