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Study Finds Variety of Mental Health Impacts in 9/11 Community

April 15, 2021 | Michael Barasch

A study recently published by researchers at the University of Michigan and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found a wide variety of mental health impacts among 9/11 first responders and survivors. 

Published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the study focused on trauma among responders, students and teachers, office workers, and Lower Manhattan residents and visitors in the fifteen years after 9/11. Five psychological distress groups were found.

Different members of the 9/11 community had distinct mental health experiences, though the researchers noted that people who personally witnessed the tragedy or who lived or worked in the community understandably had higher levels of distress.

Currently, the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program includes several 9/11-related mental health problems in its list of covered conditions and provides treatment for: 

  • Acute stress disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Dysthymic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorder

Mental health conditions are not yet included among the list of covered conditions for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. 

But new illnesses have been added to that list in the past, and additional data from the WTC Health Program helps strengthen the correlation between 9/11 exposure and a host of illnesses — such as mental health disorders. 

If you are diagnosed with a mental health disorder or any of the 68 cancers or respiratory diseases impacting the 9/11 community, please contact us. 

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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