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New York City Seal
Press Release
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Kelly Sobel
Tuesday, September 3, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


One-Year Anniversary Approaches, New Yorkers Are Reminded That
Free Counseling Is Available for Those Who Need It

As the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001 approaches, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) today announced a new Project Liberty public education subway and bus campaign, "Honor the Past. Embrace Your Future." The campaign addresses New Yorkers who may still be experiencing emotional reactions to 9/11, such as anger, depression, anxiety, drinking too much, nightmares or loss of sleep. People having these reactions are encouraged to call 1-800-LIFENET (1-800-543-3638) for free, confidential counseling or for just someone to listen. The campaign will appear in brand cars in subways, and on bus shelters and telephone kiosks citywide in both English and Spanish.

DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said, "Anniversaries of traumatic events can be difficult. As we move forward, we honor and commemorate the courage exemplified by New Yorkers as we remember the tragedy of the past. At the same time, we appreciate and nurture the resilience of the human spirit. As studies have shown, anniversaries such as this one can cause the re-surfacing of considerable distress. The campaign lets New Yorkers know that, as the recovery process continues, free counseling is readily available."

Dr. Frieden added that on September 11, 2002, counselors will be available at many of the memorial services and ceremonies taking place throughout the City.

Similar to the first phase of the campaign, the sequel features first-hand accounts of New Yorkers discussing how they have been coping. Posters list some reactions New Yorkers may still be experiencing. The City's campaign complements a series of television and radio commercials currently being aired statewide by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the City's partner in Project Liberty.

As of mid-August, Project Liberty has provided counseling and public education services to more than 150,000 individuals who live or work in New York City. Project Liberty was initiated in October 2001 with a $22.7 million statewide grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). New York City received $14 million to establish Project Liberty counseling services in all five boroughs. In May, FEMA awarded New York City an additional $112 million to continue the program.

The Mental Health Association of New York City operates 1-800-LIFENET (1-800-543-3638), which provides free counseling and referral services and is available in English, Spanish (1-877-AYUDESE), and Chinese (1-877-990-8585). For other languages, New Yorkers can call LIFENET and ask for a translator. The TTY number for LIFENET is (212) 982-5284. To view the new campaign, visit For more information, call 1-800-LIFENET, or visit