In an unprecendented event in the history of 9-11 supports, the Mental Health Association of New York City in conjuction with the U.S. Department of Justice, helped hundreds of 9-11 family members travel to 9-11 memorials across the nation to recognize the tenth anniversary of 9-11. This event will influence the way mental health professionals view and help their clients deal with disaster anniversaries.
Online PR News – 02-October-2011 – – In an unprecedented showing of commitment and compassion, the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) administered a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice/Office for Victims of Crime providing travel support and accommodations for 9-11 family members from around the world who were in need of assistance visiting memorials in Arlington, VA, Shanksville, PA, and New York City for the tenth anniversary of 9-11. Through the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program, families gathered from all over the United States and around the world including Gambia, Lithuania, Ukraine, the U.K., Ireland, Israel, Canada, Philippines, Japan, Australia, Costa Rica, France, Serbia, Mexico and Kazakhstan, to join together at this landmark anniversary.
“We knew the tenth anniversary was going to be tough for many people. We wanted to make sure families would be able to pay their respects properly and be with others who were having similar experiences. Many family members have not had the financial ability or emotional strength to travel to the sites where their loved ones died, and we felt this would be a tremendous therapeutic opportunity for them. When joining with other family members who understand their loss as they participated in meaningful commemorative events, families reported feeling that the environment was very healing,” explained April Naturale, Director of Disaster Services at MHA-NYC and a clinical social worker who has been working with 9-11 families since September 2001.
“What’s remarkable are the numbers of people that the program brought in. The program enabled hundreds of family members to gather and experience an extremely healing environment. That’s revolutionary,” said Giselle Stolper, President and CEO of MHA-NYC. “There’s really nothing else like this that has ever been done before. But then again, we have never had anything like 9-11 before. This will influence the way mental health professionals view and help their clients deal with disaster anniversaries.”
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. http://www.9-11healingandremembrance.org
MHA-NYC is a non-profit organization that addresses mental health needs in New York City and across the nation. It is a local organization with national impact and has a three-part mission of services, advocacy, and education. MHA-NYC identifies unmet needs and develops culturally sensitive services and programs to improve lives while promoting the importance of mental wellness. www.mhaofnyc.org