Grenfell Tower: Hundreds of children struggling with mental health issues after fire

More than 500 children have been referred for mental health treatment following the Grenfell Tower fire, according to the latest NHS figures obtained by Sky News.

They show that in the past year a total of 521 children and 2,006 adults have been seen by health teams in the area.

More than 1,600 people have been identified as being in urgent need of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Sara Northey, a clinical psychologist who runs the children’s services at the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing clinics, says the scale of the trauma is unprecedented.

“There’s obviously the people who were living in the tower and the bereaved but this is a tight knit community and many children witnessed the fire, many of them have lost friends and teachers.”

Dr Northey says many of the children are regressing and showing signs of PTSD.

“They’re experiencing flashbacks and intrusive memories of the night,” she said. “Problems sleeping and concentrating at school and with the little ones, so under five years old, there are cases of separation anxiety and bed wetting.”

Piers Thompson and his family, who have lived next to Grenfell Tower for 13 years, can see the block in full view from their backdoor.

He said: “It’s very difficult to live next to a burnt out building and see it every day. My family have been getting regular and serious counselling. My 14-year-old daughter is on antidepressants now.”

Read the full article Grenfell Tower: Hundreds of children struggling with mental health issues after fire

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