Helping People Cope With September 11th Aftermath

Since Sept. 11, Americans are dealing with a new and sometimes frightening reality. A new booklet can help deal with the feelings of anger, sadness, frustration and fear many are feeling.

"We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it," said John F. Kennedy. Those words have never rung more true for Americans.

Since Sept. 11, Americans are dealing with a new and sometimes frightening reality. The events of that day stirred up many reactions: anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, grief, dismay and helplessness.

These feelings are normal after any major crisis, say experts, whether it occurs on a personal or national level, and coping with a tragedy is not always easy. Many people are still experiencing emotional fallout related to Sept. 11, and that is the focus of a new booklet, "Take Charge: Handling a Crisis and Moving Forward," published by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) in Farmington Hills, Mich.

The booklet offers tips to help people cope with the emotions that surfaced since September 11th, or that can surface following any tragedy. Some suggestions include:

  • Talk to others about your fears. It''s okay to ask for help. Connect with family, friends or co-workers.
  • Maintain your normal routines.
  • Don''t fight the desire to cry. Tears can help relieve stress.
  • Recognize those things you can control and those you can''t. Identify and use your own strengths and resources.
  • Use measures that have helped you overcome fear and helplessness in the past.
  • Practice for upcoming events that worry you. Imagine yourself feeling calm and in control during the event.
  • Avoid too much media coverage of a tragic event.
  • Know that this will not be an easy time and give yourself time to heal.
  • Don''t become the victim of a crisis. Instead, prepare to act in the event of one. Turn your fears into action. Be vigilant and look out for your own safety and the safety of others.

AIPM is a provider of self-care, wellness and mental health publications to over 11,500 corporations, hospitals and government agencies. Ten percent of the profits from the sale of Take Charge are being donated to the Todd M. Beamer Foundation.

For more information, contact the AIPM, 30445 Northwestern Highway, Suite 350, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3102; phone: (248) 539-1800; E-mail: [email protected]; Web site:

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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