accessibility & help

What can you say to a mass-shooting survivor?

20 July 2015

A volunteer has described helping people get through harrowing moments after last month’s Tunisia shootings.

Chris Beck was part of a Red Cross team that flew to Tunisia to help British citizens caught up in the violence in Sousse.

She said: “We arrived the day after the attack and many of the people we were supporting had had the harrowing task of going to identify the bodies of loved ones the night before.

“Many of them hadn’t slept or eaten so we arranged refreshments for them and tried to encourage them to eat something and start to think about keeping themselves well.

“Because many of them were there with their families, those who had been bereaved were often worried about other family members who had survived but felt they had to stay strong to support them. So we provided them with a safe space where they could talk about all those feelings as well.

“Some people felt very vulnerable as they left to travel to the airport so another team member accompanied them on the coach and the plane, staying with them until they were met by family members in the UK.”

Chris was in Tunisia for a week and, being a former intensive care nurse, spent a lot of her time supporting the injured Britons being cared for in four different Tunisian hospitals. She made sure they understood their options and the arrangements being made to get them back to the UK.

Help for families laying flowers 

Meanwhile other PST members met relatives arriving from the UK and supported them as they identified loved-ones who had been killed, laid flowers at the scene and visited injured relatives in hospital.

Chris said: “It was a real privilege to be able to go and help a little bit. If what I was able to do makes someone’s recovery just a little bit easier that’s good enough for me.”


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