Media Advisory for News Organizations Reporting on 9-11: Please Use Caution with Disturbing Imagery

As News Organizations Approach the Tenth Anniversary of 9-11, the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program Encourages Sensitivity and Respect for Survivors and Victims’ Family Members

Online PR News – 26-August-2011 – – As we approach the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program of the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) encourages news organizations to approach this historic event with sensitivity and respect for survivors and for the victims’ family members.
“For many of those affected by 9-11, the feelings of loss, despair, sadness, and anger have not abated and may be exacerbated by the occurrence of the upcoming anniversary,” said Director April Naturale. “It is important to remember that while their stories are deeply personal and compelling, there may be psychological trauma that can resurface.”
The 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program has the following suggestions for journalists covering the event and when interacting with survivors and victims’ families.
For Journalists:
• Be sensitive when discussing information such as the total number of casualties or, if their loved one was a rescue worker, specific numbers of emergency personnel who perished.
• Mitigate any eye witness accounts of people jumping from the towers or other graphic descriptions.
• Avoid graphic video and photographs, including footage of the planes entering the buildings and the collapse of the Twin Towers.
• Do not compare 9-11 to other disasters when talking with survivors / victims’ families.
• Reframe questions to focus on strengths and resilience that people have exhibited over the past 10 years rather than focusing on the losses and grief
• 9-11 can be used to focus children on positive traits, including strength, resilience, and hope. Questions like "What helps people stay strong in the event of bad circumstances?" or "What did you do in school to help firefighters?" are examples.
For Editors:
• Eyewitness accounts and other vivid recollections should be prefaced with a warning that their stories may contain details that some may find upsetting.
• Consider including a side bar with a list of resources for mental health counseling. MHA-NYC has several options:
o LIFENET 24-Hour Crisis Hotline:
(800) 543-3638 (800-LIFENET) / In Spanish at 1-877-AYUDESE and Asian dialects at 1-877-990-8585
LifeNet is New York City's free, confidential crisis, information and referral hotline for anyone seeking help for mental health and/or substance abuse issues, available 24 hours a day/7 days a week LifeNet is staffed by trained mental health professionals who can help assess your situation and provide you with appropriate referrals.
o National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK, is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
The 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program was launched by the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) in April. The major goal of the program is to foster healing through information and support to those affected by the events of 9-11.
For more information about the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program, please visit w or call 1 (866) 212-0444.

9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program is a non-profit program funded by the United States Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime and administered by the Mental Health Association of New York City, to help those still affected by 9-11 cope with the landmark 10th anniversary of the attacks. Besides the Healing and Remembrance Family Support Centers during the anniversary weekend, the program also provides travel and lodging assistance to family members who wish to travel to the commemorative events in Arlington, VA, New York, NY and Shanksville, PA; a 24-hour toll-free hotline with 9-11 related resources; and a website with 9-11 related supportive resources and tips for coping with the landmark 10th anniversary of 9-11.