According to a charity group working with the survivors of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire int the U.K, at least 20 people who survived or witnessed the tragedy have since tried to kill themselves due to “survivor guilt.”
Yvette Greenway, founder of the Silence of Suicide support group, said the figure of 20 suicide bids was based only on conversations with those helping the residents. She said that many people affected by the fire that claimed at least 80 lives in June could not shake off the images of the burning tower from their minds. She also added that people are feeling isolated and are turning more to alcohol and drug dependency.
Sadly, Greenway thinks things won’t get easier in the coming days. She added: "There are going to be many more instances of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], depression, anxiety and self-harming as people reach different stages of trauma. Everybody will be affected at different times. We need long-term mental health provision for the next three decades at least - maybe longer."
Judy Bolton, a nurse also confirmed the 20 suicide attempts based from those survivors she has also spoken to.
She suggested that "survivor guilt", depression and feeling unable to cope with the loss of loved ones was among multiple factors in why victims and witnesses were trying to take their own lives.
The Grenfell Tower fire claimed the livs of at least 80 people when flames engulfed the 24-storey block. Hundreds more were left homeless by the tragedy.
The disaster also happened against a backdrop of repeated fire safety concerns flagged by the tower's residents.
Both the council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police on potential corporate manslaughter charges due to possible safety measures violations, among others.