A new study by Mount Sinai School of Medicine showing high rates of psychological distress among Ground Zero workers underscores the need for a strong federal response to the health impacts of the 9/11 attacks, several New York area lawmakers declared last week.
They said that of the more than 10,000 workers who participated in the study, 11 percent met criteria for probable Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), 8.8 percent had probable depression, 5 percent had probable panic disorder and 62 percent had substantial stress reaction.
According to Mount Sinai, the rate of PTSD among 9/11 responders is significantly greater than in the general population and is on a par with the rate experienced by Afghanistan war veterans, the lawmakers said.
“Mount Sinai’s report is even more evidence that the [Bush] administration needs to finally deliver a plan to ensure that 9/11 responders can get the mental and physical health care they need,” Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D- Queens/Manhattan) declared.
“It’s been more than six years since the attacks, and while it can never be too late to help the heroes of 9/11, the time for the president to take action is now.”
U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton stated, “Mount Sinai’s report once again proves what we have known for a long time- that our heroes from 9/11 continue to have ongoing mental and physical health needs that need to be addressed. While the physical toll on our first responders is easy to recognize, the mental stress that many of them are suffering can hide easily in plain sight.
“Our first responders and their families continue to suffer and it is our moral obligation to help them. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that those impacted by 9/11 have the care and treatment they need.”
Also commenting on the new study, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler (D- Manhattan) stated, “We now have the science to back up what we have long known- much more needs to be done to help those brave first responders who are still suffering the physical and psychological consequences of 9/11. They put their lives in danger to help us in our time of need. The federal government has a moral imperative to provide the living victims of 9/11 with the care they need and deserve.”- John Toscano
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