Breaking down can be the best way to deal with despair | Letters

Hollie Brader wonders if ‘this will not break us’ is the right way to respond to the Manchester attack

Morrissey managed to articulate a feeling that I’ve often struggled to express (Suzanne Moore, G2, 25 May). I’ve always found it deeply troubling when politicians use rhetoric following a horrifying attack such as “this will not break us”. In my mind, the phrase “not breaking” is associated with remaining the same, sticking to the same principles and regime. But, is this really what we should be doing? Refusing to address the underlying causes of such atrocities?

Little wonder that the mental health of this country is in such dire straits, with millions of people grappling with anxiety and depression. If we’re forever told that we mustn’t be broken, even when we read in the news about children screaming in terror, how can we not be broken? I certainly am. My heart is broken for the families of those needlessly killed in Manchester and my spirit feels defeated when I hear about children fleeing for their lives in Syria. If we’re constantly told that we should not be broken, if we suppress these feelings of fear and despair, then what good can possibly come of that? If I had lost someone in the Manchester attack, I would be angry that politicians could believe that I’m capable of not breaking, when my whole world had been shattered.

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I was 10 when I witnessed an IRA bomb. The Manchester victims will need years of help | Louise Nevin

My friend and I were caught up in an attack in 1976 and it still affects us. It’s vital to ensure support is readily available for anyone who wants it

It is almost impossible to put into words how horrible the attack on the Manchester Arena on Monday night was. The news will terrify any parent. For anyone who’s ever been near to a terrorist attack, it will provide a reminder of the pain that such events inflicts. This morning, Tessa Jowell reminded us on the Today programme of the long-lasting effects of these atrocities on relatives and friends of the casualties. She said that support for families affected should last “10 years” at least, drawing on her experiences of coordinating the response to the 7/7 attacks. That did not surprise me at all.

Related: Manchester is suffering now – but its spirit will overcome this atrocity | Owen Jones

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