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DC Mental Health Department Offers Services, Information for Coping with Terrorist and Bioterrorist Attacks

Thursday, September 12, 2002

(Washington, DC) The DC Department of Mental Health is airing four television announcements through Monday, September 22, advising the public that help dealing with the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the October 2001 deaths from anthrax exposure is available by calling the DMH toll free Access HelpLine at 1 (888) 793-4357 or 1 (888) 7WE-HELP. The DMH Access HelpLine is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to link people with emergency, urgent, and routine mental health services. Channels 7, 8, 9 and 30 (in Spanish on DC cable) are airing the announcements.

"For a year, we have seen daily reminders of the tragic loss of life at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11," said DMH Director Martha B. Knisley. "The deaths of two employees at the Brentwood Post Office in the District from anthrax remain unresolved and the facility is still closed because of contamination. With the first anniversary of those events, we want the general public to know the Department of Mental Health has information about coping with these tragedies."

Ms. Knisley added that DMH also provides information about how to prepare for other emergencies, such as floods, major snowstorms, and utility outages. "September 11 will be etched in our minds forever and as a city, we are much better prepared for future terrorist acts. Nevertheless, we are more likely going to experience the disruptions caused by flooding, such as occurred in August 2001, and loss of electricity or water because of aging electrical and water main systems."

Call the Access HelpLine at 1 (888) 7WE-HELP, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for mental health services and information.