Society offers help to PM in riots aftermath

Dr Carole Allan, the new President of the British Psychological Society, has written to the prime minister offering the help of the Society and its members in the aftermath of the recent riots:
“I would like to formally offer our help to the government in providing access to a wealth of psychological knowledge and expertise in this important matter.”

In her letter, Dr Allan says while there has been some mention in the media of ways in which psychology can help, the Society has been concerned to develop a deeper understanding of events before determining the best way forward.

Dr Allan goes on to say: “Many of our members have been in touch with us. It is clear from their comments that psychology has a key role to play not only in explaining the acts of violence but also in supporting those affected or involved.”

The letter points to the range of emotions that people may be experiencing after the riots and says that in extreme cases symptoms may be present that merit the description of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Allan concludes: “We would urge the government to encourage anyone experiencing continued and extreme upset to contact agencies and organisations through their GPs, who provide information on how to access psychologists and counsellors.”

Following an appeal on Twitter by one of our members who works for the London Borough of Croydon, the Society was able to help find six volunteer counsellors to help those affected by the riots there.