Westminster attack, March 2017: support for people affected
Information about the support available for people affected by the attack in Westminster on 22 March 2017.
This page contains advice on where to seek urgent assistance and information, including the official helplines for this incident.
It also provides guidance on support services available for victims, witnesses, family members, and all those affected by the attack.
Urgent advice and assistance
For police updates
For latest updates on the incident that took place in Westminster on 22 March you can read more on the Metropolitan Police website.
If you were involved in the incident or you are worried about family or friends
If you were involved in the incident and are now safe, or you are worried about family or friends who may have been involved, you can call the Metropolitan Police on 020 7230 1212 or 101.
If you are a foreign national in the UK
Foreign nationals in the UK affected by this incident may wish to contact their embassy, high commission or consulate, which may also be able to provide information or assistance.
Report anything suspicious to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or online. In an emergency, call 999.
Immediate support for victims and witnesses
The NHS has a range of facilities available and patients should go to the most appropriate facility for the injury.
Mental health support
If you are worried about your mental health as a result of the attack please see this psychological care leaflet (PDF, 243KB, 1 page) which outlines common reactions, simple suggestions for how to cope and ways in which children may be supported to cope during the next few days.
Many symptoms may be a normal response to a terrible experience and will reduce over time. If your symptoms are severe and you are in distress or they last longer than 4 weeks, please see the information below.
Victim Support is currently operating its 24/7 Supportline, offering emotional and practical support for anyone affected by the attack.
The number is 0808 168 9111 and is free to call.
Victims’ Information Service
Victims’ Information Service is a national information line helping victims of crime to get information on local support available across England and Wales.
The information line will also provide immediate emotional and practical assistance when needed, while focusing on directing you to local support as quickly as possible.
The phone number is 0808 168 9293 and it is free to call.
Continuing support for victims, witnesses and those affected
There are mental health treatments available through the NHS to help people deal with the effects of very distressing events
Many people do not go on to develop mental health conditions and will recover naturally, however if your symptoms are severe or continue beyond 4 weeks, this may indicate the need for support from a mental health professional.
The information on the NHS Choices website will outline possible symptoms and describe how to seek help. Please visit your GP who will be able to provide advice and refer you on to the appropriate local NHS mental health service for assessment and treatment. Children and young people may also access NHS help by visiting their GP, and schools may be able to provide support or refer them to local services.
If you live in England you can also contact your local ‘improving access to psychological therapies’ (IAPT) service to be assessed for NHS psychological treatment. Information on your local IAPT services is available from NHS Choices.
If you live in Northern Ireland and you’re in need of psychological support after witnessing the attack you should make urgent contact with your GP. If you or someone you know appears to be in mental health crisis, you should immediately contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. The number is open 24/7 and is free to call. This service is available for people who live in Northern Ireland.
If you are in Scotland, Breathing Space offers free and confidential advice for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety, whatever the cause. They can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87, 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday and 6pm to 6am Friday to Sunday. Calls to Breathing Space are free from landlines and from mobile networks. The Breathing Space website also provides a wide range of useful information and advice about coping with low mood, depression and anxiety.
The Wales Terrorist Attack Support Helpline is dedicated service set up to support anyone in Wales whose lives have been impacted by recent attacks. It provides a confidential listening, emotional support and signposting service. Freephone 0800 107 0900 or text the word ‘help’ to 81066. Trained staff are available 24 hours a day for the foreseeable future. Information is also available on their website.
Victim Support is a national independent charity that provides emotional and practical support for anyone affected by the attack: You may have been directly involved, witnessed it, or you feel impacted by the event. Support can be offered by phone, face to face or through information online.
The free confidential Supportline is open 24/7 on 0808 168 9111.
For further information go to www.victimsupport.org.uk
Foundation for Peace
The Foundation for Peace Survivors’ Assistance Network provides specialist support for all those in the UK affected by terrorist attacks at home or overseas, including witnesses and family members.
They provide tailored, personalised assistance plans for victims soon after a terrorist incident has occurred, help to address longer term support needs and support a sense of personal safety and well-being.
Victims will also be able to participate in supportive group activity and remembrance events to help them rebuild their lives. More information is available on their website www.survivorsassistancenetwork.org
The phone number is 01925 581240 or email SAN@foundation4peace.org
National Homicide Service
The National Homicide Service provides emotional, practical and specialist support to families bereaved by murder or manslaughter, including where this has occurred as an act of terrorism. This service is provided by Victim Support. You can contact the National Homicide Service directly or be referred by a police family liaison officer, if appropriate.
The phone number is 0808 168 9111 and it is free to call.
Anyone who has been directly affected by this incident can find out about applying for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) helpline on 0300 003 3601.
A major incident team has been set up to receive applications from victims of the terrorist attack in London. The team will co-ordinate the collection of evidence about the incident to be used in the future decision making process.