British non-profit offers free counselling following Manchester attacks

2017-05-23 18:26
(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Cape Town – A British non-profit organisation is offering free counselling to families and individuals affected by the bombings in the Manchester Arena on Monday evening.

Clare Prendergast from the Talk, Listen, Change charity told News24 that this was their way of providing assistance in the midst of tragedy.

“It is a very dark day for Manchester and when I woke up I didn’t know what to do. I spoke to my colleague and we decided together that this is the least we could do,” Prendergast said on Tuesday afternoon.

Prendergast, a relationship therapist for 12 years, said it was extremely important that individuals talk to trained professionals.

“The difficulty for young people [is that] children find it very hard to navigate their feelings as they don’t know what they should be feeling and for adults it’s important to be mindful to help children deal with their feelings", she said.

Manchester police confirmed that 22 people, mostly children, died and 59 were injured in the bombing in the arena following an Ariana Grande concert. A suspect has been arrested in connection with the bombings.

Prendergast said from what the children have seen and heard it may cause images to stay with them.

“For the rest of your life, if you don’t deal with the experience, you will be tricked back into that traumatic response by something like a tyre bursting or a loud bang. You will be continually retraumatised”.

Talk, Listen, Change offers Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) counselling which help people process trauma. 

The free counselling service was launched 30 minutes before News24 spoke to Prendergast and she said one person had already enquired about the service by that time.  

She plans to offer similar free services at all schools across the City of Manchester.

Prendergast has a teenage son who was writing exams. She said she was grateful they had time together on Tuesday to deal with the trauma.

She said she felt hopeful about the response by the Manchester community following the bombing incident.

“The risk is that people turn against each other during a time of tragedy, but there seems to be a real passion not to turn against one another but to unite,” Predergast said.

Read more on:    uk  |  security

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