Support when your family or friends are caught up in a crisis overseas
Use our online resources or call our support line to help you cope.
How we can help
When family and friends are affected by an emergency overseas, you may feel a wide range of emotions.
Fear, worry, anger and anxiety, and many other feelings, are natural at such times.
If your family members are missing, our family tracing service may be able to help.
We also offer wellbeing suggestions for people who have come to the UK because of a crisis in another country.
If you are an asylum seeker or refugee who needs help, you can find out more about our refugee services.
In addition, we have advice for people whose loved ones have been affected by recent emergencies including:
- the earthquake in Morocco and flooding in Libya
- conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory
On this page, you’ll find help to:
If you would like to talk to someone about your feelings, call our national support line on 0808 196 3651. It’s open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Wednesday.
If you need a support line translator, call and say, 'can I speak to a translator?'. We have translators available in over 200 languages.
Manage anxiety, worry and stress
When people feel anxious, including about people affected by a crisis abroad, they often feel uneasy, worried or afraid. You can have mild to severe anxiety, and sometimes may feel overwhelmed. These online resources can help:
- The British Red Cross offers support for people going through a hard time. This is called psychosocial support and can help in many different situations.
- We developed the C.A.L.M.E.R approach to give you a few easy steps to take when you feel anxious or hopeless.
- Our range of resources can help you manage anxiety including how to make a self-care plan, help to connect with others and a wellbeing pack to download.
- It’s normal to feel worried in challenging situations. Our activities can help you keep your worries from getting out of control.
- Stress is a normal reaction to hardship, but it can also have a negative effect on our bodies and wellbeing. Our advice and activities on stress can help you keep stress under control.
Improve your wellbeing
- Resilience is your ability to cope with challenge and crisis and keep going. People recover in different ways after a crisis. Our activities and guidance can help you adapt and manage.
- You can learn new skills to help you feel better and more confident, and to improve your wellbeing.
- Get tips to find the sources of support already in your life and how to use them.
- Connections with other people can help you cope. Find out how to develop and support your relationships.
- Get tips for how to relax and deal with stress and anxiety.
- Find practical ways of managing stress in our wellbeing guide. The guide is also available in Arabic, Bosnian, French, Portuguese and Ukrainian.
Help your family and children to cope
- Get tips from a doctor to help your children at a hard time. This advice originally focused on supporting children during the Covid lockdowns, but it is useful in any difficult situation.
- Talking with children about a major emergency can be hard. We created resources to help to teachers in school talk about crises with children under 12 and young people, but they are useful for anyone:
- Use nature and the outdoors to help your children adapt to change and difficult situations.
- Find out how to talk to children about a terrorist attack or other violence.
- Support yourself and help others using our activities and ideas on how to build your coping skills.
Learn from other people’s stories
When you feel worried, lonely or concerned, it can help to know that you are not alone.
- Read or watch our stories about others who have dealt with similar issues
- 'The kind place’ is our podcast series about how people deal with loneliness and distress. It includes stories from refugees, people who have lost loved ones, young mothers and others.
- The ‘We are VOICES’ podcast explores life for refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK, and how they handle their many different feelings.