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Psychiatry Res. 2006 Jun 30;143(1):29-34. Epub 2006 May 18.

Mental health service use among American Red Cross disaster workers responding to the September 11, 2001 U.S. terrorist attacks.

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  • 1Disaster Mental Health Institute, University of South Dakota, 414 East Clark Street-SDU 114, Vermillion, SD 57069-2390, USA.


In this article, we explored 1) the extent of mental health (MH) service use by American Red Cross disaster relief workers, both before (lifetime) and 1 year after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and 2) demographic, disaster and MH variables predicting (1-year) post-September 11 MH service use in this population. A sample of 3015 Red Cross disaster workers was surveyed 1 year after the attacks, regarding demographic characteristics, MH service use before and since the attacks, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Findings revealed that while 13.5% used MH services before the attacks, 10.7% used services after. Variables increasing the likelihood of MH service use after the attacks included the following: no previous MH treatment, younger age, being divorced/widowed, and higher PTSD intrusion or hyperarousal symptoms. Findings support other recent research on MH service use after the September 11 attacks.

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