Guidance

Terrorist attacks in Tunisia: support for people affected

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

Consultation on the permanent 2015 Sousse and Bardo memorial

The consultation on a proposed 2015 Sousse and Bardo Memorial is now closed. We are giving careful consideration to the responses we have received.

Support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The FCO continues to provide support through a Sousse support team. You can reach them on 0207 008 7641 (during working hours) or by e-mail at sousse@fco.gov.uk.

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. Remember to tell them that you were in Tunisia at the time of the attack.

Compensation and support

If you’ve been bereaved or injured in the attacks you may be entitled to compensation under the Victim of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can provide further advice on applying for compensation.

Find out more about financial help if you become disabled. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also provides advice about a range of payments and benefits relating to bereavement.

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.

Mental health check and treatment

A Department of Health scheme has been launched for those affected by the terrorist attacks in Tunisia.

Support from other organisations

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

  • Contact the Victims’ Information Service for information on your entitlement to support, and the local arrangements for its provision. The information line 0808 168 9293 (freephone) provides immediate emotional and practical assistance, while referring victims to local arrangements as quickly as possible.

  • Victim Support can offer emotional and practical support to anyone personally affected by the Tunisia attack. You can contact them through their free 24/7 helpline on: 0808 28 111 36.

  • Disaster Action has now stopped operating but their website is still live and includes a free leaflet series, ‘When Disaster Strikes’, which has been written for bereaved people and survivors by those who have been similarly affected by disaster.

  • Cruse Bereavement Care offers support when someone dies, through services available throughout the UK. You can contact their telephone helpline on 0844 477 9400 (Monday and Friday, 9.30 to 5pm and until 8pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, except bank holidays), or at helpline@cruse.org.uk. Cruse also provides specific support for young people through a dedicated telephone line: 0808 808 1677 and website, Hope Again.

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 more about the committee and its members.

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.

Find out more at NHS Choices.

Published 29 July 2015