Our members have been contacting us all week to offer their counselling services after the Manchester attack on Monday.

Our deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to all those who witnessed the attack, were injured, or lost loved ones, and we are sure that many members would like to assist in any way possible after traumatic events such as this. Many members, we know, already volunteer their time to charities.

We have been trying to find the best route for members wishing to help. As a result we have been speaking to a number of organisations involved in providing support after the attack. Cruse Bereavement Care (a BACP organisational member) has kindly provided us with the following advice today:

To all BACP members

Thank you for all for the offers of support for the people who have been affected by the Manchester bombing.

Cruse Bereavement Care is on the ground in Manchester assisting the bereaved in the wake of the Manchester atrocity.

Cruse is part of the Major Incident Response Team facilitated by the Red Cross, who have called on Cruse, amongst other agencies, to provide some immediate local support to bereaved people.

As trained counsellors, you will be aware that aftercare for anyone affected is essential in the short, medium and long term following an attack such as Manchester, so if you receive enquiries from people who have been directly affected or were a bystander who may have witnessed the traumatic event, and seen people injured or people die this may trigger a painful response as a result of past trauma and perhaps similar experiences.

If the support needs are outside of your particular skill set, please direct people to the most appropriate organisation, including Cruse to ensure the individuals support needs are met.

Colin Murray Parkes has advised us that many bereaved people may not make immediate contact with us, as there is often shock felt at the initial point of having been bereaved in such a traumatic way – as a response to the attack. People may find that they can contact us after the first month or so, once other emotions and thoughts start to emerge.

We therefore wanted to thank you in advance, as we are sure you will be supporting those who come to you having been affected by the event. It is an incredibly tragic incident, but it does give us the opportunity to pull together as a counselling community to support people who need our help so much.

The Cruse Helpline 0808 808 1677 is available to anyone affected by the Manchester attack.

Cruse welcomes new volunteers, so if you would like to volunteer for Cruse and be trained to respond to Major Incidents, please contact us via the Cruse website volunteer pages.