The Oklahoma City bombing, intentional crashing of airliners on September 11, 2001, and anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 have made Americans acutely aware of the impacts of terrorism. These events and continued threats of terrorism have raised questions about the impact on the psychological health of the nation and how well the public health infrastructure is able to meet the psychological needs that will likely result.
In this report, Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism: A Public Health Strategy, an IOM committee highlights some of the critical issues in responding to the psychological effects of terrorism and provides possible options for intervention.
The committee offers an example for a public health strategy that may serve as a base from which plans to prevent and respond to the psychological consequences of a variety of terrorism events can be formulated. The report includes recommendations for training and education of service providers, ensuring appropriate guidelines for the protection of service providers, and developing public health surveillance for pre-event, event, and post-event factors leading to psychological consequences.