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J Am Med Womens Assoc. 2002 Spring;57(2):117-8, 121.

A public health approach to the needs of children affected by terrorism.

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  • 1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, Maryland, USA.


The devastating terrorist incidents of Pan Am Flight 103, the Oklahoma City bombing, the bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001, have forever changed America. These terrorist acts have deeply shaken the sense of safety, security, and well-being of our surviving children and families. These terrorist acts may also have increased the public health risks of substance abuse and mental illness for our children. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is responsible for strengthening prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illness in children and families. America's children may exhibit a wide range of emotional, physical, and psychological reactions following natural and man-made disasters. Large-scale disasters witnessed by children all underscore the need for a broad mental health and substance abuse public health approach. This approach is critical for our children's well-being.

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