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VOICES Attends Opening of 9/11 Memorial Glade

On May 30, VOICES was honored to witness the dedication and opening of the 9/11 Memorial Glade. The Glade honors all 9/11 responders, survivors, and community members who are sick or have died from exposure to toxins in the aftermath of 9/11. The Glade also recognizes the courage, selflessness and perseverance of the men and women of the rescue and recovery effort.

“Like the heroes we lost on 9/11, their selfless acts provided light that helped guide us through our darkest hours and they allowed our city to rise again,” said former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Glade consists of a pathway flanked by six monoliths protruding from the ground, inlaid with steel from the towers. Learn more about the Glade.

 

June is PTSD Awareness Month

June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, and VOICES continues to make efforts to promote this important cause. About half of those who responded to, survived, or lost loved ones on 9/11 have PTSD. Because it is classified as an anxiety disorder, PTSD is entirely treatable. It is often early detection and increased awareness about the disorder that can help those suffering seek successful treatment as soon as possible.

PTSD is often misunderstood by those with no firsthand experience, and here at VOICES we encourage an open dialogue. Learn more about symptoms, resources, and treatment options.

 

9/11 Family Members Call for Release of Government Documents

In their fight for justice, family members of 9/11 victims are fighting to have the FBI release the names of those who supported the 9/11 hijackers from inside the U.S.

At a hearing in New York City on May 13, families demanded the Department of Justice reveal redacted names from FBI transcripts that could show how high-ranking Saudi officials were involved in the attacks. Over 100 family members were in attendance at the hearing.

To date, the Department of Justice has refused to allow the release of FBI documents in order to protect a Saudi government official, while citing national security concerns.

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

During the month of May we are promoting Mental Health Awareness, a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. VOICES has always been a staunch proponent of promoting resiliency through education and connecting individuals with resources that promote mental health wellness. Building awareness and destigmatizing treatment for mental health conditions is the first step.

You may not be aware that one in five Americans are affected by a mental health condition in a given year, and mental health issues are prevalent among those impacted by traumatic events. Oftentimes, when an individual suffers from mental health issues, the whole family is affected.

Due to stigma and/or lack of access to treatment, many do not seek care. Left untreated, mental health conditions can become more complicated and may result in lost earnings, hospitalization, medical issues, and in some cases suicide. Know that you are not alone and with the proper treatment, individuals with mental health conditions can live a productive life. Learn More about building awareness of mental health.

 

Supporting the Parkland, Florida Community

As part of our efforts to assist communities impacted by other tragedies, on April 2 VOICES staff traveled to Parkland, Florida to participate in a Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas Community Peer Support Event.

The peer event was organized by Mike Dempsey and the September 11th Education Trust, and included a delegation of victims' family members and survivors impacted by 9/11, the shootings at Columbine High School, Pulse Night Club, Las Vegas, the Aurora movie theatre, the Boston Marathon Bombing and the Israeli terrorist attacks. More.

 

VOICES Conducts Preparedness Trainings

On March 28 and 29, VOICES hosted "Preparing for After: Planning for Effective Response Following Acts of Mass Violence" at Grace Farms, in New Canaan, CT. The trainings provided an overview of VOICES preparedness trainings that document best practices for community stakeholders in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from acts of mass violence. The events brought together professionals from over 15 towns across Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, including police officers, firefighters, emergency managers, clinicians, and government officials.

The trainings were conducted by VOICES staff Mary Fetchet and Stephanie Landau and presentations were made by individuals who responded to the 9/11 attacks and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our thanks to Grace Farms for hosting the event, and our presenters: Dr. Karen Alter-Reid, Psychotherapist & EMDR expert; Jennifer Barahona, Executive Director of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation; Karen Carlucci, Psychotherapist & Professional Coach; Retired NYPD Officers Jeannie Kelly and Matthew McCauley from the law firm of Turken, Heath & McCauley; Danny Stebbins, Retired Colonel of the Connecticut State Police; and Jo Ann Zucker, Psychotherapist and Support Group Facilitator. More.

 

Blumenthal, Cornyn, Gillibrand, Grassley & Schumer Call for Full FBI Transparency and Cooperation with 9/11 Victims and Families Pursuing Justice

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray today to ensure that the FBI is fully and promptly cooperating with 9/11 victims and their families seeking justice through the courts.

In 2016, Congress approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allows victims of terrorism and their families to pursue civil lawsuits against foreign states that aid and abet terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Today, Blumenthal, Cornyn, Gillibrand, Grassley, and Schumer asked Director Wray to ensure that the FBI is working with survivors to provide evidence and documents necessary in their pursuit of justice. More.

 

World Sleep Day is March 15

Friday, March 15 is World Sleep Day. Quality sleep is essential to wellness, especially for those coping with physical and/or psychological conditions. Sleep disturbance is common among those living with trauma, grief, and medical conditions, and is prevalent in the 9/11 community.

Sleep is crucial for promoting energy, concentration, and resilience. You can address sleep problems in many ways - you can seek medical advice for medications, you can seek psychotherapy, and an MD or therapist will both be able to help you with good sleep hygiene. More.

 

One Year Anniversary: Remembering the 17 Precious Lives Lost in Parkland, Florida

February 14 marks the first anniversary when we commemorate the precious lives that were taken at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. We remember: Alyssa Alhadeff, Martin Duque Anguiano, Scott Beigel, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, and Peter Wang.

Following this tragedy, we were inspired by the response of the Parkland families and students who mobilized so quickly to demand change. In the face of tragedy, they founded the youth-led March For Our Lives movement. More.

 

10 Years Later: Remembering Beverly Eckert and the Victims of Continental Flight 3407

February 12 marks the tenth anniversary when we remember VOICES co-founder Beverly Eckert and the other 49 individuals who perished when Continental Flight 3407 crashed in Buffalo, New York. Beverly was traveling to Buffalo to attend a ceremony at Canisius High School where she was awarding a scholarship in memory of her husband Sean who died on 9/11. More.

On this tenth anniversary, we remember Beverly and all those lost on Flight 3407 and we thank their family members for their tireless efforts in improving airline safety for us all. More.

 

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VOICES Provides Support Services

VOICES Staff Provides Support Services Including: Assessments, Support Groups, Referrals, Commemorative Events, Workshops.

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