1st Edition

On the Ground After September 11 Mental Health Responses and Practical Knowledge Gained

By Yael Danieli, Robert L Dingman Copyright 2005
    726 Pages
    by Routledge

    724 Pages
    by Routledge

    A heartfelt collection of extraordinary first-person accounts that delve into every level of the experience of 9/11

    Out of the infamy of 9/11 and its aftermath people rose up with courage and determination to meet formidable challenges. On the Ground After September 11: Mental Health Responses and Practical Lessons Gained is a stirring compilation of over a hundred personal and professional first-hand accounts of the entire experience, from the moment the first plane slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, to the months mental health professionals worked to ease the pain and trauma of others even while they themselves were traumatized. This remarkable chronicle reveals the breadth and depth of human need and courage along with the practical organizational considerations encountered in the responses to terrorist attacks.

    The goal of any terrorist act is to instill psychosocial damage to a society to effect change. On the Ground After September 11 provides deep insight into the damage the attack had on our own society, the failures and victories within our response systems, and the path of healing that mental health workers need to travel to be of service to their clients. Personal accounts written by the professionals and public figures involved reveal the broad range of responses to this traumatic event and illuminate how mental health services can most effectively be delivered. Through the benefit of hindsight, recommendations are described for ways to better finance assistance, adapt the training of mental health professionals, and modify organizations’ response to the needs of victims in this type of event. Reading these unique personal accounts of that day and the difficult days that followed provides a thoughtful, moving, rational view of what is truly needed in times of disaster.

    On the Ground After September 11 includes the first-person experiences and lessons learned from the people of:

    • NYU Downtown Hospital
    • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    • NY Metropolitan Transportation Council
    • St. Paul’s Chapel
    • St. Vincent Hospital - Manhattan
    • Safe Horizon
    • LifeNet
    • WTC Incident Command Center at NYC Medical Examiner’s office
    • New Jersey’s Project Phoenix
    • Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
    • the military psychiatric response to the Pentagon attack
    • Connecticut’s Center for Trauma Response, Recovery, and Preparedness
    • the Staten Island Relief Center
    • Barrier Free Living Inc. for people with disabilities
    • the Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • Alianza Dominicana, Inc.
    • Staten Island Mental Health Society
    • the United Airlines Emergency Response Team for Flight 93
    • The Center for Trauma Response, Recovery, and Preparedness (CTRP)
    • Disaster Mental Health Services (DMHS) at Dulles International Airport
    • the American Red Cross
    • the Respite Center at the Great White Tent
    • HealthCare Chaplaincy
    • The Salvation Army
    • the Islamic Circle of North America
    • The Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies, Inc.
    • F*E*G*S
    • the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS)
    • and many, many more
    On the Ground After September 11: Mental Health Responses and Practical Lessons Gained poignantly illustrates that regardless of profession, culture, religion, or age, every life touched by 9/11 will never be the same. This is essential reading for counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, trauma specialists, educators, and students.

    • About the Editors
    • Contributors
    • Foreword (James L. Stone)
    • Acknowledgments
    • Introduction (Yael Danieli and Robert L. Dingman)
    • 1. The Hospital in Its Community (William Wang)
    • 2. Reflections on the Public Health and Mental Health Response to 9/11 (Neal L. Cohen)
    • 3. Portraits of Life (Gerry Bogacz)
    • 4. Collapsing (Natacha Giai)
    • 5. The Future of Our Past: Some Thoughts on 9/11 and Moving Forward (Father Lyndon Harris)
    • 6. Healing in the Aftermath of 9/11: Recovery from Suffering and Grief for the Community and Its Caregivers (Spencer Eth and Susan E. Sabor)
    • 7. My Own 9/11: The Day That Shaped Me (Itai Nartzizenfield Sneh)
    • 8. A Flashback (Frederick Terna)
    • 9. Safe Horizon’s Response to 9/11: Reflections on the Past and a Renewed Focus on the Future (Nancy Arnow)
    • 10. LifeNet and 9/11: The Central Role (John Draper)
    • 11. Coping from a Distance: Experience of a Visitor to New York on September 11, 2001 (Lisa Fenger)
    • 12. Challenges in Identification: The World Trade Center Dead (Shiya Ribowsky)
    • 13. 9/11/01 (Ami Orava)
    • 14. A View from the Ground (Maria Ragonese)
    • 15. At the Ballpark (Lisa Ann Brooks)
    • 16. 9/11 and People with Disabilities (Paul B. Feuerstein)
    • 17. Everyday Courage on September 11 (Alan Clive)
    • 18. Providing Disaster Mental Health Services to People with Disabilities After September 11: Successes and Lessons Learned (Jennifer Mincin)
    • 19. Across the River: New Jersey’s Response to 9/11 (Steven M. Crimando and Gladys Padro)
    • 20. Massachusetts Behavioral Health Response to September 11 (Darrin Donato)
    • 21. On the Ground After September 11: Lessons Learned from the Relief Efforts to the Latino Community in New York City (Genoveva [Milagros] Batista)
    • 22. Strategic Communications and Mental Health: The WTC Attacks, 1993 and 2001 (Michael Cohen)
    • 23. I am Alone in My Grief, But I am Not (Holly Devine O’Neill)
    • 24. Staten Island Mental Health Society Response from September 11 to the Present (Nathalie Weeks)
    • 25. Family Matters (Joseph A. Marotta)
    • 26. Why I Can’t Write This (Grant H. Brenner)
    • 27. Development of a Behavioral Health Disaster Preparedness System in the Wake of September 11: The Center for Trauma Response, Recovery, and Preparedness (CTRP) (Julian D. Ford, Wayne F. Dailey, and Kathryn S. Dean)
    • 28. The September 11, 2001, Attacks at the Pentagon: One Disaster Mental Health Responder’s Story (Howard B. Smith)
    • 29. 9/11: The Great Equalizer (Vita Iacovone)
    • 30. Military Psychiatrists During the Pentagon Attack: Personal Reflections (Colonel Elspeth Cameron Ritchie and Colonel Stephen J. Cozza)
    • 31. The American Red Cross and September 11th Fund Mental Health Disaster Response (Erica Lowry and Gerald McCleery)
    • 32. Mental Health Response to Pentagon Staff in the Weeks Following the Attack (Thomas A. Grieger and John W. Knowles)
    • 33. Memories of September 11, 2001 (Susan E. Hamilton)
    • 34. And the Birds Came Back (Robert E. Hayes)
    • 35. Responding to United Airlines Flight 93: Bearing Witness to the Brave Who Chose to Fight for Their Freedom (Margaret M. Pepe)
    • 36. Reflections on 9/11-Related ARC Activities Following the Terrorist Actions in Western Pennsylvania and New York City (John D. Weaver)
    • 37. The E-Mail That Traveled the World (Joan Caruso)
    • 38. September 11, 2001: A Military Member’s Perspective (Major Jill R. Scheckel)
    • 39. The Great White Tent: A Mental Health Response at Ground Zero (Jill Hofmann)
    • 40. How 9/11 Changed My Life (Anthony T. Ng)
    • 41. Working with Groups After 9/11 (Randi S. Cohen)
    • 42. Taking It to


    Yael Danieli, Robert L Dingman