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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tom Pettifor

Manchester Arena bombing survivors call for mental health reforms 5 years after attack

Survivors of the Manchester Arena terror attack are today demanding urgent mental health reforms five years after the atrocity.

They are calling for a central register of survivors to ensure long term care and a guaranteed maximum wait of six weeks to get help.

The demands are included in a report from Survivors Against Terror whose lead author, Dr Stuart Murray, lost his 29-year-old stepson, Martyn, in the attack.

Dr Murray said: “It saddens me that there is not a desire to learn further from what has and still is happening to us.

“It frustrates me that some members of my family struggled early on to find a therapist who fully understood the impact of what had happened and the needs they had, and that in the beginning we had to pay privately as there were no NHS resources available.

Mourners look at tributes in St Ann's Square, Manchester, after the terror attack (PA)

“Whilst we have received offers of support from many people along the way, there remains a lack of co-ordination between the different mental health and supportive agencies. More important there has been a total lack of continuity.”

The report sets out the long history of unheeded warnings about the lack of adequate mental health services for terror survivors going back to the lack of help given to victims in Northern Ireland and those affected by the 2005 London bombings.

Salman Abedi at Victoria Station making his way to the Manchester Arena (PA)

Other demands include more investment in research and more training and education for healthcare workers.

Dr Murray said: “Our approach has to change. That’s why we are calling for the government to implement a new Survivor’s Charter with guaranteed access to mental health services within six weeks. “

The report said reviews of the 2005 bombings in London found that access to specialist services was inconsistent, there was a lack of central planning, and a failure to share data.

Emergency services at the scene of the terror attack five years ago (PA)

Sunday marks the anniversary of the attack in which 22 were killed after an Ariana Grande gig on May 22, 2017.

Among those slaughtered by terrorist Salman Abedi’s bomb were six children.

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