Coping at Christmas and Support Groups
While Christmas is usually a time for celebration and family, it can be an intensely emotional time for those mourning a loved family member or friend, whether it’s a recent loss or one from long ago.
We know that people continue to need information and support and a number of organisations and services remain in place to assist those affected by the Manchester Arena attack of May 22 2017.
Manchester Attack Support Group Programme
The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund is funding a programme of regional support groups for people affected by the Manchester attack. These groups are giving members the opportunity to share their experiences with others and benefit from mutual practical, emotional and other support in a safe environment.
The programme is being managed and delivered by professionals who have organised similar meetings and group support following previous traumatic events, including terrorist attacks. If you think this kind of support may benefit you or someone you know do get in touch with us at the address below.
Who are these support groups for?
The groups bring together those affected by the attack to benefit from peer support that comes from others who have been through similar experiences. Currently there are different groups across the UK for those who were seriously injured, for responders, those who are bereaved and for other survivors. There is also a telephone support group for those who prefer or for whom it is a more convenient way of connecting with others.
How are these support groups different to an online discussion group or forum?
By physically bringing people together these kinds of support groups have a different feel. Those with experience of previous groups say they can have advantages over, or may complement, other support people find online. In addition these support groups are smaller (up to 10 people per group), and the conversations are facilitated and guided by specialists in the room.
Is there support available for families and young people?
Yes, in addition to this programme there are Family Days people being organised during 2019 which we can tell you about if you or someone you know is interested.
Interested to know more? Email us to: support@
When you contact us we will arrange to speak with you on the phone about your experiences and about the groups which will help in deciding if peer support is for you. We will also tell you about other help and support options that may be available to you.
Accessing mental health support
The Manchester Resilience Hub is and NHS organisation offering support. You can reach them on 03330 095 071 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. Visit the website for further information and advice.
Please note the Hub will be closing on Friday 21 December at 6pm and will reopen on Wednesday 2 January 2019 at 10am.
If you need to talk before Christmas then please do make contact with the Hub before the end of the day on 21 December.
If you or the person you are supporting is experiencing a mental health crisis then please consider contacting your GP or local A&E department for advice.
There is other support available which you can find elsewhere on this website.
This includes information about support for children and young people, how to cope with a traumatic event, and advice in coping with the anniversaries (and occasions such as Christmas) after traumatic events.
If you, or someone you care for, is really struggling and needs immediate help to stay safe, please contact your GP and ask for an emergency appointment. Out of hours, you can access mental health services via an Accident and Emergency Department.
And Samaritans are available around the clock over Christmas and every day of the year. They provide listening support to anyone struggling to cope and needing emotional support. You can call them free on 116 123.