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July 21, 2005
As family members and friends who lost loved ones in the attacks of 9/11, our hearts go out to the families of those killed and injured in the recent bombings in London.
Tragedies such as the London bombings can strike close to home for 9/11 victims' families and survivors. The images of the devastation and the stories of family members of victims searching for missed loved ones, or grieving their deaths, may recall painful memories, bring back fears we had thought we had overcome, or simply remind us of feelings of sadness, helplessness, or despair that we wish we had forgotten.
A few actions may help with these feelings: recognize what is happening, understand that this is a common response by many people, turn off the media (or at least limit it to once a day for informational purposes only), engage in self-care activities that work, talk about your response with others, and make a donation or engage in a volunteer activity.
While it is important to inform children about this recent disaster and to reassure them, it is not useful for children (or adults) to be overexposed to tragic images or stories. Consider limiting the amount of television viewing related to the tragedy; pay attention as well to radio and print media coverage.
For more information on understanding the feelings you may encounter, including several warning signs to look out for in family members, please refer to the resources below. We also encourage you to use our bulletin board to voice your support to the families of victims and survivors in London. Thanks to all those who have already reached out. Click here to read what others have written.
Where to call if you have family or friends in London and are concerned:
Outside of the UK:
For information about American citizens who may have been affected by the July 7 bombings in London, please call 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the U.S.) or 1-202-501-4444 (regular toll line from outside the U.S. and Canada).
In the UK:
Anyone in the UK without news of their relatives in the area should contact the Metropolitan Police Casualty Hotline on 0870 1566 344. For any other information please contact the British Red Cross International Tracing and Message Service on 0845 053 2004.
Emotional Support Hotlines:
National Center for Victims of Crime Hotline
The NCVC, which continues to support and assist anyone who needs help and support in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has a hotline available if you or a loved one needs help dealing with this tragedy. Call 1-800-FYI-CALL.
The 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
Not everyone reacts to traumatic events in the same way. That's why a variety of services are available. 1-800-LIFENET is a toll-free hotline that makes it easy for you to get free or low-cost help with emotional, drug or alcohol problems related to 9/11.
London Bombings Relief Fund
The Mayor of London has agreed to establish with the British Red Cross the London Bombings Relief Fund to raise money for the victims and their families. The money raised will be held in a Trust and used to assist the victims of the attack, their immediate families and partners in a variety of ways. You can make a donation online by visiting www.redcross.org.uk, by telephone at 08705 125 125, or by post to: London Bombings Relief Fund, c/o The Mayor of London, Freepost LON18968, Sheffield S98 1ZA
Articles and Resources:
Revisiting Feelings in the Wake of a Tragedy
FOS11 Advisory Board member Dr. David Schonfeld explains how international tragedies can strike close to home for families of 9/11 and includes several warning signs to look out for in family members, and in particular, he highlights how children may react.
Raise Your Awareness: Understanding the Impact of 9/11 Images
FOS11 Advisory Board member Stefanie Norris, LCSW, explains how the repetitive viewing of images and symbols representing trauma has the potential for causing renewed or elevated anxiety.
Coping With Traumatic Events
Tips for parents and teachers for talking about traumatic events.
Wartime Stress & Teens
Tips from the American Psychological Association.