Remembering 9/11—A Decade Later
To mark the approach of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., The Advocate compiled a round-up of events, observations, and articles that reflect on the long-term impact on the nation’s mental health from the attacks that took place on that long-ago, sunny Tuesday morning.
September 11 Anniversary TV Coverage
David Bauder, AP television writer, has compiled a list of television programs on a wide range of 9/11-related topics that will air before and after 9/11/2011. He notes in the article that, “Meanwhile, 3,000 hours of global TV broadcasts during seven days of coverage in 2001 are available at The 9/11 Television News Archive.” For a list of some of the TV programs that will be airing during September, click here.
10 Years and a Diagnosis Later, 9/11 Demons Haunt Thousands
“One measure of the psychological impact of 9/11 is this: At least 10,000 firefighters, police officers and civilians exposed to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder, and in a kind of mass grieving, many of them have yet to recover, according to figures compiled by New York City’s three 9/11 health programs. …
“Doctors are expecting a surge in PTSD patients with the coming 10th anniversary, as they have on each Sept. 11. …
“Amy Cushing–Savvi, a social worker at Mount Sinai Medical Center, which runs the largest program, said a frequent topic at staff meetings was, “What’s 9/11 and what isn’t?”—in other words, the exquisitely vexing question of how to separate the effects of 9/11 from the traumas of everyday life. …
Excerpted from the Aug. 9, 2011, New York Times article by Anemona Hartocollis.
Health Department to Survey 70,000 People About Their Health 10 Years After 9/11
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry launched its third major survey this summer of more than 70,000 people who were exposed to the WTC attacks and the aftermath, including nearly 13,000 who currently live outside the New York/New Jersey area. As the nation’s largest cohort of WTC-exposed people, the Registry is the most comprehensive post-disaster public health registry in the United States.
By asking about mental and physical symptoms 10 years after 9/11, the survey will obtain information about the persistence or resolution of the most common health effects associated with WTC exposure, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and asthma. New mental health questions will ask about functional status, depression, anxiety, and history of traumatic stress before and after 9/11, which will help inform an understanding of the long-term mental health impacts after 9/11. The new survey will also ask questions related to asthma control, sleep apnea, other respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders and other potential late-emerging conditions.
Published results of the first and second Registry surveys, particularly those regarding the health of Lower Manhattan residents, area workers, and students, helped support passage of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Act, signed into law by President Obama earlier this year, includes a WTC Health Program for survivors who, for the first time, will be able to access services anywhere in the country. Rescue and recovery workers and volunteers have had access to similar services since 2008.
For more information and summaries of the findings of the previous two surveys. For more information about the Registry and its findings.
Depression on My Mind
Rant-o-Rama: Mental Health Parity for 9/11 Survivors
By Christine Stapleton
“Recently, the folks drafting rules for the 9/11 Compensation Fund announced that the $2.8 billion fund created by Congress last year will not cover mental health problems caused by 9/11. …
“Apparently, the fund’s newly appointed special master, Sheila Birnbaum, hasn’t heard about the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). …
“However, couldn’t Birnbaum take a stand and argue that because the brain is a part of the human body—ergo physical—that “mental and emotional” injuries should be covered—especially since the MHPAEA is now the law of the land? …
“If you know anyone who lived through 9/11, you know their mental and emotional injuries can be just as debilitating as physical injuries. …
“ … how can any human being with a shred of compassion describe the post-traumatic stress, anxiety disorders, depression and substance abuse of these survivors as ‘only mental and emotional injuries?’”
As long as lawmakers and policy makers preface “mental illness” with the word only, we are back to where we were pre-MHPAEA. You just can’t legislate away stigma.
Click here for the entire “Rant-o-Rama.”
After 9/11, USA Was More Resilient Than Experts Expected
“Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the American psyche has bounced back better than psychologists predicted. But that doesn’t mean the terrorist attacks didn’t leave scars that are only now coming to light.
“… A small army of researchers who for a decade have been exploring the emotional wreckage of 9/11 say psychologists overestimated the number of people who would suffer long-term effects—and underestimated the resilience humans can muster in the wake of tragedy.
“But now there is a new controversy: Research published online last month in the journal Social Science & Medicine found long-term health effects of 9/11, not just among those who were present but among people who watched the attacks live on TV. …
“But some are skeptical of the findings …”
Excerpted from the Aug. 7, 2011, USA Today article by Sharon Jayson.
Talking to Children About the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
A summary of advice from Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, a member of the advisory board of Tuesday’s Children, and the president of the Child Mind Institute, to members of 9/11 families on talking to their children about 9/11.
His article closes by reminding adults in 9/11 families that, “Whatever your children’s needs may be on this anniversary, I urge you to think, too, of your own needs, and the renewed anguish this commemoration may cause you.”
Click here for more parenting tips and information on childhood psychiatric and learning disorders, visit .
9/11 A Decade Later: Ad, App for September 11th Memorial Are Released
Three weeks before the 9/11/2011 dedication of the National September 11th Memorial, NY1’s Bobby Cuza reported that, “The twin reflecting pools set in the footprints of the Twin Towers, fed by waterfalls, are now getting finishing touches. …
“At a briefing Wednesday, officials also announced a new iPhone app that allows users to explore the names’ arrangement on the memorial.”
Source. For more information about the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program. Watch a public service announcement from the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program.
Articles About Mental Health Effects of the 9/11 Attacks
on the World Trade Center
Peruse a list of the reports published about mental health effects of the attacks at the World Trade Center; however, viewing the full text may require a fee, for example subscribing to the publishing journal or purchasing the book cited.