Senate Bill Funds Terror Attack-Related Mental Treatment

October 18, 2001 ( - A US Senate bill passed out of committee this week would help state and local governments find and treat people with mental health needs arising from the September 11 terror attacks.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved the “Post Terrorism Mental Health Improvement Act,’ which provides unspecified funding for the mental and emotional treatments.

The federal money could be used to locate individuals who may have been affected by the attacks and to provide treatment, including paying for necessary medication.

The original measure authorized $175 million; the version approved by the committee approved “such sums as may be necessary” for each of fiscal years 2002 to 2005.

“This help is essential for the individuals and families who were injured or lost a loved one, for the brave public safety officers who put their lives on the line trying to rescue or recover victims, and for the many other Americans of all ages in communities across the country who have suffered psychological trauma as the result of these attacks,” said Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts).

– Fred Schneyer