Government's promise of mental health support 'not actually happening', says survivor of Manchester Arena terror attack

Manchester Attack

The aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack. Image: Getty

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A survivor of the Manchester Arena bombing has claimed the government's promise of providing better mental health support is "not actually happening".

Ruth Murrell and her 14-year-old daughter Emily were seriously injured in the May 2017 attack, in which a terrorist detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert.

Ms Murrell's appearance on the breakfast show followed claims that terror attack survivors are being failed by mental health services.

 

 

"As far as the government are concerned they make a lot of promises on making sure people will feel supported and guided and helped, but the harsh reality is it's not actually happening out there, and we're the people who are there to prove it," she told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Ms Murrell revealed she had suffered from PTSD, depression and extreme guilt after the attack, but was forced to join a year-long waiting list to access a trauma counsellor.

In January last year, the Prime Minister announced a plan to "transform" mental health services in the UK, but Ms Murrell, who lost her friend in the tragedy, said receiving mental health support was a "postcode lottery".

 

'Taboo subject'

Theresa May leaves message on memorial tree remembering victims of the Manchester Arena attack. Image: Getty

"It's such a taboo subject, is mental health, and it's very much down to a postcode lottery, dependent on where people live as to what provisions they have available.

"Why should it be down to that?".

 

Ms Murrell will join a group of fellow terrorist attack survivors today to hand a petition in to Downing Street, detailing where the "flaws" are in the mental health system.

"As a group we want to voice our opinions and be heard, and draw from our own experiences to make things better for people in the future," she said.