Children of 9/11 Ten years later

Psychological Health

By Dan Rosenblum

Psychological impacts also haunt the children of 9/11, especially those who lost relatives. April Naturale led Project Liberty, a crisis counseling center started in the wake of the attacks, and works with disaster response for the Mental Health Association of New York and the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program.

She said 10-12 percent of people who lost a relative suffer serious depression and need treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

With the recent death of Osama bin Laden, Naturale said there has been talk about closure but true closure is impossible for victims’ families and affected children. She said closing the book is not part of the grieving process, instead, victims tend to slowly accept the reality of living after loss.

“You don’t just get over it over time,” said Naturale. “It stays with you your whole life.”

Still, Naturale says most of the children who witnessed the events of 9/11 will recover from the trauma. She estimates 80-90 percent of the population will go through the grief process natually. As they process what happened over time, they get better on their own.

“The majority of children are quite resilient and have been able to make these adaptations,” said Naturale.



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CUNY Graduate School of Journalism