Thanksgiving is a special time of year when we count our many blessings - our family and friends - both near and far, as well as those who are no longer with us, whose memories we hold dear. The holiday season is a time for all of us at VOICES to say thank you to the hundreds of individuals who have contributed to our work this year.
Did you know that November is National Family Caregivers Month? Family and friends play a critical role in assisting survivors and responders who have been diagnosed with 9/11 related illnesses. For some, the responsibility of caregiving can be challenging. It is important that we all have the support we need to sustain the day-to-day requirements of helping others.
Yesterday, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum held a brief ceremony paying tribute to the eight lives lost and the eleven who were injured in Monday's attack. Roses were placed at the Survivor Tree and red, white and blue ribbons were tied around its branches. The ceremony also recognized the courageous members of law enforcement and responders who assisted the injured and captured the perpetrator.
Our deepest sympathies are with all those who were affected by the deadly shooting that occurred in Las Vegas last night, and with the brave individuals who risked their lives in responding. There are no words to adequately describe the profound sadness we all feel today.
September was a busy month for us at VOICES! Thanks to all who contributed to the success of this year's events. On September 5 we hosted our 3rd Annual Golf Outing at the Country Club of Fairfield. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and the participants had another beautiful day of golf overlooking the Long Island Sound.
On the 16th Anniversary, we gathered once again - in New York City, at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, PA, and in our local communities to remember and reflect. Much like September 11, 2001, the air was crisp, the sky was cloudless and the sun shined brightly.
Join us for VOICES 16th Annual Day of Remembrance Information Forum! Once again we will provide an informative program including presentations, panel discussions and round-table conversations designed to promote healing and resilience in the 9/11 community. The program is free of charge for 9/11 family members, survivors and responders and the dedicated professionals who are supporting them in a variety of ways.
A day-long program of clinically informed presentations from leading clinicians and subject matter experts working in the field of trauma. The program is designed for mental health professionals, victims' services, emergency managers, law enforcement and other community stakeholders. 5 social work CEU's available Victims' families, survivors and responders impacted by terrorism and mass violence are invited to attend as our guests.
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. Left untreated, mental health issues can result in lost earnings, hospitalization, medical issues including substance use/abuse, leaving school or employment, incarceration, and in some cases suicide.
The bombing in Manchester this week - attacking children and their parents - was another visceral reminder of the unimaginable consequences of terrorism. The frequency of terrorist acts on innocent people going about their daily routines, most recently this morning in Egypt, is unconscionable. Since the attack we are working with our international partners to offer our support.