January 27, 2003

Carter examines 9/11 and mental health


Jon Moor is associate director of public information at the Carter Center.

On the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, former first lady Rosalynn Carter urged nations and communities to revise public response plans for terrorism, natural disasters and other large-scale tragedies to include strategies for dealing with post-traumatic mental illness and grief.

“No country is immune from the problem of mass violence,” Carter told the World Federation for Mental Health in London on Sept. 11, 2002. “We must prepare ourselves for future disasters. The mental health world will have to fashion preventive strategies for broader audiences.”

The issue was revisited at the 18th annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy in November, where former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani joined some 200 leaders of national mental health organizations to evaluate the aftereffects of the terrorism acts against New York and Washington.

“We’re going to have to deal with events like Sept.11 in the future,” Giuliani said. “The idea of bringing together experts in mental health is a very big contribution to the security of this country.”






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