As part of our work with partners in responding to the sad event this week in Manchester, we have prepared the following information and advice note for use with children aged 8-13. Do feel free to use it if you think it will be helpful:
Advice and help for children about what has happened in Manchester.
If you are reading or hearing about what's happened in Manchester and it's making you feel anxious or sad, it's important to know that you are not the only one and it's OK to have those feelings. Even adults are feeling sad about what has happened. At times like this it’s really important to talk about your feelings – with your family, friends, teacher, social worker or other trusted adults in your life.
Make sure you get the facts, not the rumours.
If you want to know more about what has happened you can rely on programmes like Newsround on BBC or Newsbeat on Radio 1 to tell you the facts about what has happened. But you might also see things on the internet which aren’t true, or things that people are saying because they are really angry or sad, and these kinds of things can make you feel more scared or worried.
Incidents like this are very rare.
It’s important to remember that what has happened in Manchester is very rare – things like this don’t happen often. Although people are spending a lot of time talking about it, it is still very unlikely that events like this will affect you or anyone you know.
It’s our job to keep you safe.
The police and other organisations will do all they can to make sure this sort of attack does not happen here. It is really, really unlikely that this will happen to anyone we know. We will keep you safe. You can help us by telling us if you see anything suspicious around your home or school.
It’s perfectly normal to feel upset or sad at times like this and there are things to help you feel better.
It’s normal to feel upset about news like this, and if you feel sad, angry or worried it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. You might want to talk to someone at home, or you could speak to a teacher at school. This can help you to feel better, and so can doing things that make you happy like watching your favourite programme or film, or playing with your friends.
If being worried is making it more difficult to sleep or if you are having bad dreams, it's really important to speak to an adult about this too. It can help if at bedtime you think about things that make you happy, and if you keep things nearby which make you feel safe – like your old teddy or favourite blanket. Also, try not to look at mobile phones or social media just as you go to bed – that can make it hard to sleep anyway.
So, the important things to remember are:
*Things like this are very rare, but it’s perfectly normal to feel sad or worried when you do hear about them.
*If you are worried about anything that you have heard or seen, talk to an adult you trust.
*The police are working hard to keep us all safe. Help them to do that by telling someone if you see anything around your home or school that worries you.
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