September 11th & Your Mental Health

One could ask why there is a post about September 11th on a website about mental wellbeing, after all My Mental Health Day has been about reducing stress and boosting mental wellness.  Thinking about September 11th can be very stressful and may truly cause strain to people’s mental wellbeing.  The thing is, it would be pretty hard to experience September 11, 2011 without thinking about September 11, 2001 and so we want to take this opportunity to provide information about ways to take care of yourself as we reach the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. 


Living Your Life During Challenging Times

We live in unsettling times. Ongoing wars, threat of terrorism, and an economic downturn combined with our own personal struggles and challenges can cause stress, fear and anxiety about the future. Such feelings can have a cumulative effect on the mental health of Americans. How can people cope and lead “normal” lives” in these challenging times?


We all react differently to news of disturbing events, but there are common feelings many of us experience. Disbelief, fear, difficulty making decisions, nervousness and irritability, sadness and depression and powerlessness are just a few.


Here are some things you can do to cope and maintain a sense of “normalcy”:

  • Remain engaged in the world by staying connected with people. Don’t withdraw.
  • Talk to family, friends or co-workers about your fears.
  • Keep up on the news but don’t watch it round the clock.
  • Take necessary precautions. But don’t overdo it. Make an emergency communication plan with family and friends. Re-introduce yourself to neighbors and exchange phone numbers.
  • Maintain your regular routine and include time to do things you enjoy.
  • Get involved in local activities. Attend a meeting on community preparedness. Send a donation to a relief fund.
  • Take care of your health. Make time for exercise and other pleasurable activities that distract you and lower your stress level. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Be optimistic about the challenges ahead. Stay in touch with your spirituality.


If your anxious or “down” feelings don’t go away or are so intense that they interfere with your daily life, seek the help of a mental health professional. This may be especially important for those who live with depression, substance abuse problems, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.


Those of us who are a part of My Mental Health Day and Mental Health Association of Montgomery County send our thoughts to those whose lives were forever changed from the events of September 11, 2001 and we send our thanks to those who have dedicated their lives to protecting the rest of us before, during and since that day.

~   ~   ~

If you or someone you know would benefit from

supportive listening, suicide prevention and/or intervention or information and referral,

call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK.

If someone needs immediate emergency care, call 9-1-1.


~   ~   ~


Content for “Living Your Life During Challenging Times” is from, the website of Mental Health America, of which Mental Health Association of Montgomery County is an affiliate

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