UCL News


Press cutting: Terror stress effect 'widespread'

3 February 2007

Terrorist attacks have widespread effects on people's mental health even when they are not directly involved or are far away at the time, experts say.

They found that after an attack in an urban area, 11 to 13% of the general population may suffer post-traumatic stress during the following six weeks. …

In the review, Professor Chris Brewin [UCL Psychology] found that 30-40% of people directly affected by terrorist action are likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and at least 20% still experience symptoms two years later. …

Professor Brewin said intense media coverage, such as the repeated images of the 9/11 attacks, could increase general levels of stress.

He added that, although treatment is available, it can be hard to contact those who might need it.

Professor Brewin is currently trying to track down people who were involved in the London bombings for a study on how the incidents affected them.

"It's very common, but people don't know if it's normal. Most people hang on and assume they will soon get better. …

Anyone affected by the London bombings who would like to take part in the research can call 020 7530 6847.

BBC News Online