Lessons from Adversity:
Strengthening Preparedness with Reflections from 9/11

In spring 2011, as our nation anticipated the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the annual Institute for Disaster Mental Health conference examined the mental health response to each act of violence perpetrated that day through the lens of a decade’s perspective. By reviewing the specific challenges created by each attack and the lessons learned in responding to them, it is hoped that the mental health community became better prepared for the next mass casualty disaster. 

“Lessons from Adversity: Strengthening Preparedness with Reflections from 9/11” had two goals: to communicate insights learned from the attacks to mental health professionals, emergency management personnel, spiritual care providers, uniformed responders, and others who will be involved in providing assistance after future mass casualty events; and to prepare these helpers for the emotional and logistical challenges that are elicited by commemorative events. A careful review of the major lessons learned over the past decade enabled attendees to foster more positive recovery outcomes in impacted communities, and to maintain their own resilience while responding to the needs of others.

The following presentations are made available to public health and emergency response personnel courtesy of the Institute of Disaster Mental Health.