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Medical News & Perspectives
October 17, 2001

Medical, Mental Health Communities Mobilize to Cope With Terror's Psychological Aftermath

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JAMA. 2001;286(15):1823-1825. doi:10.1001/jama.286.15.1823

In less than 2 hours on the morning of September 11 after four hijacked commercial jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a rural area of Pennsylvania, thousands perished in the resulting firestorm of jet fuel and cataclysmic implosions of concrete, steel, and glass.

But the emotional and psychological fallout from the tragic events was only beginning for survivors, rescue and recovery workers, grieving families and friends, and others. During the weeks and months following the terrorist attacks, helping those who have psychological trauma will be an ongoing challenge for primary care physicians and mental health care professionals.