Although not commonly discussed, mental health challenges are actually very common. Approximately 1 in 5 adults - 43.8 million Americans - experience mental illness in a given year; however, only 41% received mental health services in the past year.
We want to take this opportunity to build awareness about the World Trade Center Health Program and the medical and psychological conditions covered. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified nearly 60 cancers that 9/11 survivors and responders have developed as a result of their exposures to the toxins in Lower Manhattan after the attacks.
It is estimated that over 400,000 people were in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and in the months afterward. Fifteen years later, many survivors are experiencing symptoms of the same life-threatening medical and psychological conditions as the responders who worked in the recovery effort.
The 15th Anniversary was a milestone, especially for those of us who were impacted on September 11, 2001. As we gathered in New York City, at the Pentagon in Shanksville, PA, or in our local communities, we remembered the 2,977 innocent citizens who lost their lives that day.
My name is Mary Fetchet, and I am here with my husband Frank. I want to thank Senator Blumenthal for inviting us today to talk about a topic that is near and dear to our hearts. On 9/11, our 24 year old son Brad died when a commercial airline commandeered by terrorists was flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Brad was one of the 2,977 innocent citizens that were senselessly killed that day. In response to our loss, I founded Voices of September 11th, using my professional skills as a social worker to create an organization that provides long-term support services for families, responders and survivors, and to assist communities impacted by other traumatic events, many of whom are still suffering the consequences of a traumatic loss.