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Arlington, VA — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released the following statement from CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. in advance of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
“This week, we solemnly remember the thousands we lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and we offer our lasting thanks to the helpers and heroes of that day and the days that followed.
“Those of us who are old enough to remember have stories about where we were and what we were doing. Mine involved a planned business trip — ironically, to New York City — that was canceled before it began, in the wake of the attacks on that dark day. I also had the personal connection of a brother who was stationed at the Pentagon and survived the attack and two former colleagues who tragically were passengers on Flight 77, which hit that very same building.
“Reminders of 9/11 are all around us — in the news, in documentaries, on social media and in the broader public discussion. For many people, those reminders vividly bring back the trauma they first felt two decades ago. Some feel it more acutely than others — especially the survivors, families and loved ones of the victims, our frontline responders, and our service members and veterans who heeded their nation’s call in the aftermath. At the same time, many Muslim Americans and people perceived to be of Middle Eastern descent have unjustly suffered trauma in the forms of racism and discrimination.
“We at NAMI want everyone to know that feelings of trauma and stress are normal. We respond to grief and tragedy in our own ways and our own time. But if your trauma is severe and ongoing, you should know that you are not alone — and that help is available.
“NAMI has specialized resources for frontline professionals, as well as veterans and active duty service members, in addition to advice and support that can help anyone better cope with and recover from their own trauma.
“You can also visit nami.org/help for help and support or call the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET. Our volunteers are working to answer your questions, offer support and provide practical next steps.”