One survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire who was on the phone to her best friend before she died is so traumatised that she still calls and texts her every day.
The moving story was revealed by Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, who raised concerns that not enough is being done to give mental health support to those who survived the disaster which killed at least 80 people.
Addressing the House of Commons, Ms Dent Coad said: “Many are fragile indeed and I have huge concerns for their mental health.
“I’ve seen people I know who are still in shock who are not on any path to recovery.
“One I know was on the phone to her terrified best friend in the tower for over an hour, debating whether to stay in the flat or try to leave – then the phone went dead.
“The surviving friend calls and texts her every day, even though she knows her friend is dead. Who is looking after her?
“I am particularly concerned about those who may have mental health crises. We have already had one threatened suicide and one attempted suicide. There may be more. We can be sure many affected people will need urgent and intensive treatment at some point.”
Some of those working with the traumatised Grenfell community have raised fears of a looming mental health crisis, with survivors of such disasters being particularly prone to suffer from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depression and anxiety.
The survivors are being directed to a counselling hub at Holborn in central London – seven miles from the scene of the fire, although survivors are currently living at locations across the capital.
Ms Dent Coad pointed to the fact that a lack of suitable provision for those with mental health problems has long been a concern in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea – despite it being the wealthiest local authority in the country.
“For many years, the minority party councillors in Kensington and Chelsea have been asking for an increase in the…