‘Twenty suicide attempts since London fire’

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London, Sep 5 (IANS) At least 20 people who survived or witnessed the Grenfell Tower fire have since attempted suicide, media reports said.

Silence of Suicide founder Yvette Greenway told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme the number was based on conversations with residents.

Campaign group Justice4Grenfell said the volunteers had heard of 20 suicide attempts, but the BBC says it has been unable to verify the figure.

Greenway said many residents were unable to get images of the burning tower “out of their minds”, according to BBC.

“There is a lot of alcohol and drug dependency,” she said. “People are feeling isolated.”

Greenway said there was little confidence in “council-led” mental health services.

“We’ve been told workers are going around putting leaflets under hotel doors and not actually speaking to people,” she said.

“There are going to be many more instances of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, anxiety and self-harming as people reach different stages of trauma.”

A nurse, working with Justice4Grenfell on this, said depression, survivor guilt and feeling unable to cope with the loss of loved ones were the main reasons why people were attempting suicide.

Judy Bolton, a nurse for 20 years, said: “People saw their neighbours falling from a burning building. They saw children being dropped from the building.”

“There are still ashes still blowing over us when the train goes past. We’re being covered in the ash of our dead friends and relatives.”

–IANS

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