Supporting staff who are helping evacuees from Afhganistan

Working with trauma

Being involuntarily displaced from your home country, or somewhere that you have lived for a long time, especially due to war and conflict, can be traumatising and have a negative impact on mental health. ​

​If you are supporting evacuees from Afghanistan who may have been through unimaginable trauma it's normal to find it difficult to cope with the emotions that this can evoke. ​Although your work can feel rewarding and incredibly worthwhile, it can start to take its toll on your emotional wellbeing through repeatedly hearing about others' experiences of distress and suffering. ​

​It's important to be aware of how your role may be impacting you and to seek help if and when you need it.​

Here for you

While the Keeping Well SEL site usually offers support to health and care staff in south east London, we have recently extended our offer of support to those who are working tirelessly in airports and hotels to support evacuees from Afghanistan.

  • Use our live chat in the footer to start speaking to one of our trained Keeping Well Practitioners (available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm). Chat works best on Google Chrome and from a mobile or tablet (it will not work on Internet Explorer 7). If you are unable to use or see the chat button then please download and use Google Chrome
  • Browse this site to access information and resources on a number of issues, including anxiety and low mood, bereavement, keeping a healthy lifestyle and getting support at work, to help you keep well in mind and body.
  • E-mail or call us Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. You can also request a call back at a time that suits you within our operating hours.

  • If you live in south east London, free, fast and confidential support is available to you through your local IAPT services. If you cannot access the service in south east London check your local services here.
  • Support groups, workshops, webinars and therapy developed specifically for colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds can be found here, including counselling services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
  • You can find an array of self-help resources here.
  • Access Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich MIND Counselling.

Support lines

  • Samaritans (24 hours, confidentially): 116 123 They have a dedicated number for healthcare staff 0800 069 6222 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week
  • Saneline (6pm to 11pm): 0845 767 8000
  • The Mix. If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.
  • Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email pat@papyrus-uk.org or text 07786 209 697.
  • 'Shout' crisis text line - text SHOUT to 85258
  • SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse. 
In an emergency
  • Call 999
  • Go to your local A&E department

If you would like to find out how you can support evacuees from Afghanistan, you can contact the organisations below or your local council to find out what kind of support is most needed.

Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) supports vulnerable asylum seekers, migrants and refugees through their Rainbow Club school, food bank and advocacy and advice service, as well as running a number of wellbeing projects.

Lewisham Donation Hub: accepts donations including homeware, electricals, clothing for all ages/genders, toys/books/games, laptops and desktops, kitchenware, white goods, food amd sanitary items, furniture and items for new mums.

London Plus: lists organisations in London who are providing support to refugees from Afghanistan.

Refugee Council works directly with thousands of refugees each year. They support refugees from the moment they arrive in the UK by providing crisis advice, practical support to help ease integration into new communities, and mental health counselling.

British Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have been supporting the people of Afghanistan for over 30 years.

CARE International provides aid to countries that experience war and poverty.