On 9/11, Some Wounds Still Unhealed
Many who witnessed the attacks on New York’s twin towers suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.
By Noah C. Zuss
Seven years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Queens mourns lost loved ones and remembers those that died on that fateful day.
Perhaps no event in U.S. history altered the psychology of American citizens more than seeing the twin towers fall, while thousands perished both in the buildings and on the ground as workers tried to save lives.
As the anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 dawns, many New York City residents are still feeling lingering psychological effects.
Many residents are unaware that their symptoms may be related to the events of that terrible day.
A recent study released by the Health Department’s World Trade Center Health Registry, found one in eight Lower Manhattan residents likely had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) two to three years after the attacks. The findings also show that Lower Manhattan residents developed PTSD at three times the usual rate in the years following the events of 9/11. The rate among residents, 12.6 percent, matched the rate previously reported among rescue and recovery workers of 12.4 percent.
Many rescue workers from Queens – firefighters, police officers, port authority personnel and countless others paid the ultimate price and never fully recovered from the mental hardship of 9/11.
Giselle Stolper, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of New York City, a private, nonprofit organization has extensively studied the effects of 9/11 on rescue workers and others who first hand witnessed the wanton destruction.
She wants New Yorkers to know the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has an insurance-like benefit program to help cover out-of-pocket mental health and substance-use treatment for city residents still affected by the terrorist attacks.
“The events of 9/11 were a terrible psychological blow to the city and nation,” Stolper said. “Many rescue workers at the site, as well as observers, saw the buildings fall and have not fully recovered psychologically. We want people to know there is help available to them if they feel they need it.”
Stolper also mentioned that the psychological effects take many forms and can be subtle, yet present.
Outreach and enrollment is managed by the Mental Health Association of New York City. New York City residents and City workers in surrounding areas can learn about eligibility for the benefit program by calling 311 or by visiting www.nyc.gov/9/11mentalhealth.
There are several memorial events held in Queens to honor the victims of 9/11.
The first was led by Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) on Sunday. The Annual 9/11 Memorial Motorcade traversed the College Point, Bayside, and Little Neck neighborhoods. Mourners met at 130th Street and 25th Avenue in College Point and proceeded down 16 intersections renamed for residents lost at the World Trade Center.
Each of the following events will be held on the seventh anniversary of the attacks.
•The Bayside Hills Commemoration will light candles and welcome speakers at 7 p.m. at memorial plaque, located at the intersection of Bell Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway in Bayside.
•The 9/11 Memorial in Glendale is dedicated to the 42 victims from Glendale, Ridgewood, Middle Village and Woodhaven and is a place to visit and reflect. It is located at Dry the Harbor Playground, at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and 80th Street in Glendale.
•A blood drive in honor of 9/11 victims will be held from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. outside Queens Center Mall located at 90-15 Queens Blvd. The blood drive is sponsored by Local 338 and run the New York Blood Center.
•Patriotic Concert in Little Neck - Bay City Ramblers perform outdoors at 2 p.m. at Brandywine Assisted Living at The Savoy, 55-15 Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck.
•Juniper Valley Park Candlelight Vigil - Speakers, music, and candlelight vigil starting 7 p.m. in Juniper Valley Park (Juniper Boulevard South and 78th Street). Thousands come bringing candles, flags and flashlights and a chance to see, in the distance, the towers of lights in Manhattan.
•The September Concert for 9/11 at Socrates Park - In remembrance of 9/11, the Little Opera Theater of New York performs at 6:30 p.m. on the banks of the East River, Socrates Sculpture Park, Vernon at Broadway in Long Island City.
•Memorial Concert in Ridgewood - The St. Matthias Church concert choir perform at 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthias Church, on Catalpa Avenue, between Onderdonk and Forest avenues in Ridgewood. The church lost several members on 9/11.
•Concert at Atlas Park - The Atlas Park mall in Glendale hosts one of the September Concerts, featuring Jason Green and the Labor of Love from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 8000 Cooper Avenue at 80th Street Glendale.
•Memorial Service in Kew Gardens - at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Resurrection, 85-09 118th Street in Kew Gardens.
•Candlelight Ceremony in Astoria Heights - United Community Civic Association/Port Authority of NY & NJ - Annual candlelight ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12. at memorial grove in McManus Memorial Park (81st Street and Grand Central Parkway in Astoria Heights).