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9/11 survivors, families & first responders still coping with lasting impacts on mental health | St. Louis News Headlines – St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri 2021-09-08 08:21:00 –

(CBS NEWSPATH)-Twenty years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, tens of thousands of first responders, survivors, and their families are still addressing their lasting effects on mental health. .. Doctors say they keep looking at new patients every week for help.

Stephen Hess worked as an FDNY EMS technician on September 11th. He competed with tens of thousands of first responders to lower Manhattan.

“I was there that day, but then I spent more time in the landfill on Staten Island. I coughed almost immediately,” he says.

The following year, he suffered from several catastrophic health problems, breathing problems, advanced lupus erythematosus, multiple back surgery, and mental health problems.

“It took me five years to come to treatment. It was working, but I’ve always wanted to stay awake in the morning, and I thought of suicide between lupus pain and breathing,” he said. increase. ..

New patients who have never been treated are still coming every week, according to Dr. Sandra Row, Medical Director of the World Trade Center Mental Health Program in Mount Sinai, New York.

“Most of them have post-traumatic stress disorders, but we also see individuals with major depressive disorders, anxiety disorders,” she says.

Dr. Rowe says the 9/11 anniversary reaction is also common. “I started listening to people who were getting worse, with more nightmares and feeling sick,” she says.

“We start to feel anxious and stressed in mid-August,” says Hess. “And again this morning, I was thinking about canceling this, so I wondered if this would help others.”

Hess praises his treatment in the Sinai program and the great support of his family. He wants others to reach out for help as needed.

Currently, 23,000 of the more than 80,000 first responders are seen in the program for physical and mental health on Mount Sinai.

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