Monday Mood News: Growing Concern Over 9/11 First Responders Mental Health

September 12, 2016

Yesterday was September 11th, the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. As the nation took a moment to mourn those who were lost. New York took the morning to read the names of all those who lost their lives that day, reading the first name starting at 8:25 when the first plane hit and reading all the way through to the end.

But what about those who survived? We speak a good amount of those who made it from the buildings alive, but we think it’s time to focus on first responders who raced into harm’s way. Many of them are still suffering, and it’s widely unreported.

CBS News recently released a striking article that highlighted the devastating effects that the residual Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from 9/11 has had on first responders. From extreme memory loss to flashbacks, the progressive effects of PTSD are taking their toll on the brave men and women who risked their lives that day. According to the article, a study of 813 first responders revealed that 12.8 percent had cognitive impairment. With an average age of the group was just 53, the results are extraordinary and worthy of attention, particularly since things will get worse. “It is a progressive disease, so what you can expect is that people that have it now, that have the progressive form, will start to experience worse and worse outcomes,” explains Sean Clouston, the professor from Stony Brook Hospital who led the study says in the piece.

Can and should we do more to protect those who risked their lives that day? We believe we should. We hope that this sheds more light on the crippling effects of PTSD, that it’s a debilitating disease that is worthy of attention and treatment. We hope that the first responders of 9/11 receive the grace and care they so rightfully deserve. It’s the least we can do as a country for those who have risked everything to keep us safe every single day.