Terrorist Attack in Reading June 2020

The recent tragic events at Forbury Gardens in Reading in which three men lost their lives and other people were injured have had a major impact on many people in the town – those who witnessed the atrocity and across our wider community.

The NHS and Wargrave General Practice are here to help.

How do such atrocities affect people?

People affected by this incident may seek psychological and mental health support from family and friends and the local healthcare system over the next few weeks and months.

The information below may help if you feel the need for some extra support for yourself or a relative, friend or colleague.

Events like this are thankfully rare, especially in places like Reading. They occurred at a time when we’re all still adapting to coping with the Coronavirus pandemic.

People’s ways of coping, or feeling unable to cope, will differ, and many may not feel the full impact of this shocking incident for weeks to come.

We hope this information, put together by NHS London in partnership with the cross-
government Victims of Terrorism Unit, will help you.

It was drawn up in response to a series of terror attacks in the UK and abroad over recent years and is helpful for promoting resilience and reassurance.

We also list below details of specialist agencies who are experienced in dealing with major incidents

Reading Borough Council has set up a microsite listing a wide range of local organisations who can support the community through the next few months.

Key Messages

The key messages to aid resilience and to reassure are:

  • It is normal to feel distress after a traumatic incident. Individuals’ reactions can vary and can include strong negative emotions, physical manifestations (such as headaches or insomnia), behavioural changes (e.g. avoidance and withdrawal) and temporary difficulty in concentrating.
  • Immediately after a traumatic incident people are likely to need comforting, social and practical support
  • It is important to keep communicating with each other, and to use support helplines / online support websites.
  • An affected individual should not be encouraged to relive their experience unless this is taking place in the context of psychological treatment. This is different to them spontaneously talking about it as this may be how the individual is processing the event and its impact on them.
  • Most people recover, and do not go on to develop mental health conditions.
  • A minority of people may develop significant psychological symptoms during the first 4 weeks. Anyone affected by symptoms should be encouraged to contact their GP Practice and / or the local NHS Community Mental Health Team. We are here to help and provide practical support.

Useful resources:

An NHS leaflet “Coping with stress following a major incident” is available for use by those seeking further information.

The Reading Borough Council #ReadingTogether website (www.together.reading.gov.uk) has a wide range of local and national support services.

And for people who want to talk to someone, the Thames Valley Victims First support line on 0300 1234 148 or Victim Support’s live chat facility (www.victimsupport.org.uk) can help. Extra support is available from
National Victim Support: 0808 16 89 111 (24hrs)

The Victims of Terrorism Website: victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk.