September 11 Anniversary


The anniversary of a traumatic event, whether a national tragedy or a personal loss, can serve as a powerful reminder of earlier reactions to the tragedy, and can trigger renewed feelings of anxiety, sorrow, and concerns about the future. These reactions can then interfere with daily functioning at home, work, or school.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has compiled a directory of resources for disaster response workers, educators, families, medical personnel, mental health professionals, and youth to help them deal both with recurring reactions and with current stresses and adversities.


Page Contents

Featured NCTSN Resources

Parenting in a Challenging World
Parenting in a Challenging World (2005) (PDF)
Offers help for parents and caregivers of children who have experienced a traumatic event. These pages and resource address some of their questions―such as, What does a family do to heal after a child has experienced a traumatic event? Will my child recover? How have other people coped?―using as an educating tool scenes from the documentary film Surviving September 11th: The Story of One New York Family.

Strategies to Manage Challenges for EMS Families (2008) (PDF)
Discusses some of the many challenges for parents who work in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) field. Describes strategies for dealing with each of the challenges outlined, addressing the unique set of stressors experienced by EMS workers, their significant others, and their children. Created by the North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System Adolescent Trauma Treatment Development Center in conjunction with the Center for Emergency Medical Services.

Terrorism, Disaster and Children Speaker Series
Topics focus on assessing and treating PTSD in preschool children, school-aged children, and youth following a disaster. The presenters discuss developmental issues, parent issues, assessment, treatment, and preparedness. Several of the webinars highlight lessons learned from September 11th.

Tips for Families on Anticipating Anniversary Reactions to Traumatic Events (2002) (PDF)
   >En Español: Sugerencias para la familia que anticipa reacciones adversas al aproximarse el aniversario de un  acontecimiento traumático (2002) (PDF)
Advice on how to deal with the feelings that arise with anniversaries of tragic events―including renewal of early reactions and feelings, and increasing worries about something similar happening again. As an anniversary of a public tragedy approaches, there is increased media attention, which may be accompanied by warnings, rumors, myths, and misconceptions that can easily add to families’ worries. Tips include information on what to look for, who might need special support, and how you can help. Includes links to other resources.

Traumatic Grief
Overview of normal grief and grieving processes, and how they differ from traumatic grief. Childhood traumatic grief may occur following a death of someone important to the child when the child perceives the experience as traumatic. NCTSN resources include videos, training curricula, and educational materials for parents, educators, pediatricians, media, and other providers.

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For Educators

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
Resources to support parents, educators, and other caregivers to help children deal with the anniversary of September 11. Includes advice on teaching children to process their reactions in a healthy way, fostering resilience and coping skills, and much more. Tip sheets are available in English and Spanish.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

  • Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for School Staff (2011) (PDF)
    Practical ways to help youth address their problems, stay connected, network, and cope better during economic downturns. Explains how challenging financial circumstances can affect school personnel, teachers, and their students' sense of safety, ability to calm, self- and community efficacy, connectedness, and hope.
  • Self Care for Educators (2008) (PDF)
       >En Español: Auto-ayuda para educadores (2008) (PDF)
    Tips to help educators who experience secondary traumatic stress through working directly with traumatized children and adolescents. Information includes how to recognize the signs of compassion fatigue, find support, and care for themselves.

Project Rebirth
An organization that recognizes “the unique preparedness needs of first responders as the frontline of disaster recovery.” Seeks to “chronicle living history and honor 9/11 victims and first responders, and to advance educational initiatives committed to pre-trauma resiliency building for first responders.”

U.S. Department of Education (DOE)

  • 9/11 Materials for Teachers
    A website with resource materials that can be used by teachers in classroom activities that commemorate the 9/11 anniversary. Includes links to federal agencies that offer access to educational resources focused on the anniversary.

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For Families and Youth

9/11 Memorial
A national tribute of remembrance and honor to the men, women, and children killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Includes lesson plans, teaching guides, webcasts, interactive timelines, and other educational resources.

American Psychological Association (APA)

Families of September 11®
A nonprofit organization that was founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Provides support to families and children including updated resources, information, and advocacy on the effects of terrorism and public trauma; reaches out to terror victims worldwide. An affiliated program―Children of September 11™―helps parents, caregivers, and professionals who support children impacted by 9/11 and other traumas. Offers resources, advocacy, and information.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD)

  • PTSD Coach App
    A mobile app (free download) offering information and advice on PTSD and how to manage symptoms that commonly occur after trauma. Designed for current and veteran service members who have—or may have—PTSD. Includes information on PTSD and treatments that work, a PTSD self-assessment tool, skills for handling stress symptoms, tool for screening and tracking PTSD symptoms, and links to other resources for getting professional support and help. Available from iTunes and Android Market.

Voices of September 11th
Provides information and resources for 9/11 families, rescue workers, and survivors. Includes support programs; forums; mental health and educational services to promote resiliency; up-to-date information through the website, newsletter, and direct mailings; and commemorative events to honor the lives and stories of September 11th. Also promotes public policy reform on prevention of, preparedness for, and response to terrorism; works to build bridges between international communities that have been changed by terrorism; and much more. More recently, VOICES launched the Center of Excellence for Community Resilience which shares lessons learned to assist communities in healing after acts of natural disasters or mass violence.  

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For Service Providers/Agencies

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)
    Supports “SAMHSA's efforts to prepare States, Territories, Tribes, and local entities to deliver an effective mental health and substance abuse (behavioral health) response to disasters.”
  • Disaster Responders: Introduction
    This Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) installment focuses on the behavioral health effects of responding to a disaster. It provides resources on self-care, as well as specific disaster behavioral health interventions that responders can use to help survivors recover from a disaster.

Resilience and Stress Management: Introduction
This DBHIS installment contains resources that can be used “during any situation, whether it is dealing with financial stress, recovering from a natural disaster, or coping with the loss of a family member or friend.” Includes resources on resilience, understanding stress, and stress management—with effective coping strategies, tip sheets, an extensive annotated bibliography, and links to other resources.

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