Mental health service use among American Red Cross disaster workers responding to the September 11, 2001 U.S. terrorist attacks

Jon D. Elhai, Gerard A. Jacobs, Todd B. Kashdan, Gary L. DeJong, David L. Meyer, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we explored 1) the extent of mental health (MH) service use by American Red Cross disaster relief workers, both before (lifetime) and 1 year after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and 2) demographic, disaster and MH variables predicting (1-year) post-September 11 MH service use in this population. A sample of 3015 Red Cross disaster workers was surveyed 1 year after the attacks, regarding demographic characteristics, MH service use before and since the attacks, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Findings revealed that while 13.5% used MH services before the attacks, 10.7% used services after. Variables increasing the likelihood of MH service use after the attacks included the following: no previous MH treatment, younger age, being divorced/widowed, and higher PTSD intrusion or hyperarousal symptoms. Findings support other recent research on MH service use after the September 11 attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume143
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 30 2006

Keywords

  • Disasters
  • Mental health services
  • Posttraumatic
  • Red Cross
  • Service utilization
  • Stress disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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