UWNYC and MHA-NYC Partner on 9-11 Anniversary Events


New York, NY – United Way of New York City (UWNYC) and the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) are working together to help those affected by 9-11 cope with the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9-11 through a new program called “9-11 Healing and Remembrance.” The program, being funded by the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, will provide mental health supports for those affected by 9-11 in the form of a crisis intervention hotline, travel assistance and “Family Support Centers” in New York City.

The 10th anniversary of 9-11 is considered a landmark timeframe for many families who suffered losses in the terrorist attacks and many families will be travelling to the city for the first time. It is the goal of the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance Program to help these families navigate and cope with the events, which may be overwhelming for some.

The first objective of the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance program is to issue grants to families that are financially unable to travel to and stay in New York City for the 10th anniversary of 9-11. The program hopes to give families the opportunity to witness and experience commemorative events first-hand, in an atmosphere of community and caring. “It’s important to give people the opportunity to participate in commemorative activities and be around others who have shared similar experiences. It’s a great step on the path to healing,” said April Naturale, PhD and head of the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance program.

The second objective of the program is to set up and run “Family Support Centers” which will be located near the commemoration site and in other, non-disclosed locations. These spaces will be safe, media free spaces where family members can escape from the crowds and gather with other family members or just take time for themselves in a quiet space. There will be supportive services available in the “Family Support Centers” such as mental health professionals, group counseling, pastoral care, mind/body supports and other hospitality services to help make the family’s time at the commemoration easier.

Another component of the 9-11 Healing and Remembrance program is a toll-free, 24 hour crisis intervention hotline that can be accessed by anyone in the 9-11 community who is in need of 9-11 related mental health support and information about commemorative events. This hotline (1-866-212-0444) will run through September 2012. Events and other supportive resources will also be available on the program’s website at www.9-11HealingandRemembrance.org.

The main push and message of the program is to encourage people to not be alone on this landmark anniversary. Anniversaries can be difficult for some and help is still available.

About United Way of New York City

United Way of New York City (UWNYC) creates, leads and supports strategic initiatives that seek to achieve lasting city-wide improvements in the education, income stability, and health of New Yorkers. We believe that everyone has a role in building a better future for all. We offer diverse opportunities for New Yorkers to give, advocate and volunteer to advance the common good. To learn more about our work and how to get involved, visit www.unitedwaynyc.org.

UWNYC and The New York Community Trust established The September 11th Fund to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of the victims, families and communities affected by the terror attacks. The September 11th Fund collected $534 million from more than two million donors and distributed 559 grants totaling $528 million. Grants from the Fund provided cash assistance, counseling, and other services to the families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks, the injured and those displaced from their homes or jobs. In December 2004, The Fund completed its distribution of funds and closed its doors.

About the Mental Health Association of New York City

MHA-NYC is a non-profit organization that addresses mental health needs in New York City and across the nation. It is a local organization with national impact and has a three-part mission of services, advocacy and education. MHA-NYC identifies unmet needs and develops culturally sensitive services and programs to improve lives while promoting the importance of mental wellness. www.mhaofnyc.org.


Kathy Walling
United Way of New York City
(212) 251-2476