Guidance

Terrorist attacks in Paris – support for people affected

This page provides information on the support available for those affected by the terrorist attacks in France.

Documents

NHS trauma leaflet

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Fonds de Garantie

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Detail

Sources of Support

Anyone feeling unwell, or overwhelmed and unable to cope as a result of their experience should speak to their GP or call NHS 111. Remember to tell them that you were in Paris at the time of the attack.

Victim Support can offer practical advice and emotional support. You can contact them on 0808 168 9285.

Disaster Action – while the organisation has now stopped operating, their website – www.disasteraction.org.uk– will stay live and has useful information to help bereaved people and survivors.

Cruse Bereavement Care offer support when someone dies, through services available throughout UK. You can contact them on 0844 477 9400 or by e-mail to helpline@cruse.org.uk. Cruse also provide specific support to young people through a dedicated telephone line and website – 0808 808 1677 / www.hopeagain.org.uk.

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.

There is more information in the attached NHS trauma leaflet (PDF, 50KB, 2 pages)

Compensation and Financial Support

The French Fonds de Garantie (ODT, 16.9KB) has set up special procedures to ensure prompt compensation of the victims of the attacks. You should contact them on +33 (0) 1 43 98 87 63 or by e-mail at victimes13novembre@fga.fr. If you wish to speak to someone in English, it is advisable to ask for a call back by e-mail. If you need help with this process, please contact the Consular Services of the British Embassy in Paris. You can also reach the Embassy on +33 1 44 51 31 00. Ask to speak to Consular Section. To start the compensation procedure, you will need to provide a scanned copy of your passport, your bank details and (if requested) documentary proof of your presence in Paris at the time of the attacks. We have attached general information about French compensation procedures to this page.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can consider applications for compensation under the Victim of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme 2012, for those bereaved or injured in terrorist incidents that have happened outside the UK. Anyone who has been directly affected by this incident can find out more about the Scheme and how to apply at www.gov.uk or by calling the CICA helpline on 0300 003 3601. CICA can also provide advice about the interaction between the two schemes.

You may be entitled to financial support if you are injured or unable to work as a result of being involved in the attack. More information about Carers and Disability Benefits, and financial help if you become disabled, is available at www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/disability. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also provides advice about a range of payments and benefits relating to bereavement at www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/bereavement.

Those affected can also contact the Victims’ Information Service for 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 attacks in Paris should contact their tour operator to find out what additional support is available.

Read the Prime Minister’s statement on the Paris terrorist attack