Grenfell Tower suicides: 'Local council missed a key time to help people with mental health'

Grenfell Tower: 'Local council missed a key time to help people with mental health'

Some who witnessed the fire are suicidal

Thursday, September 14, 2017

People who survived the Grenfell Tower fire needed mental health help straight away but the local council failed and missed a key time to help victims, according to a mental health campaigner.

It has been claimed that at least 20 people who survived or witnessed the Grenfell Tower fire have since attempted suicide.

Yvette Greenway, a co-founder of Silence of Suicide which works to raise awareness of the impact of suicide, told Sam Delaney that "nobody's surprised by the statistic" and 20 is "probably a conservative figure."

Given the horrors people witnessed on the night of the fire, such as the sight of babies being thrown out of windows and people jumping, it's no surprise people have taken their own life.

She continued: "The local council should have done better and they should have put support out there.

"Was there a mental health taskforce in place prior to this tragedy? It appears not because nothing was actually rolled out I think for three weeks afterwards and those people needed to be reached straight away so we missed a key time.

"We’re not reaching people and we’re certainly not dealing with the issues properly."

She thinks "people want to talk but they’re that fed up with people not listening and not taking on board what they’re saying that they’re giving up and we need to encourage people to come out and speak and share their burdens."

Greenway added: "If I’d seen and heard [the fire] I don’t know how I’d get those images and sounds out of my mind. It's not just the immediate community. It’s the wider community because of course this could be seen from some distance."

Listen to the full interview above

You can find Silence of Suicide here or call the Samaritans for help on 116 123.