THE BHS/CSU BEHAVIORAL HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE
Following the tragedy of 9/11, our efforts at BHS have focused
on the evaluation and treatment of members injured and impaired
by the catastrophic events of that day. Our members continued to
work on-site in rescue/recovery efforts until June 02. In our efforts
to secure funding for needed medicals and counseling services, we
emphasized that our ENTIRE work force was exposed. When we secured
FEMA funding, we worked in partnership with the Centers for Disease
Control and the National Institute for Occupational Health to provide
a comprehensive plan of action to EVERY ONE OF OUR MEMBERS. Other
work groups and hospitals have modeled their evaluations after our
program but none have or will provide the specialized tests and
comprehensive program offered by BHS.
THE BHS/CSU MENTAL HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE IS DIFFERENT FROM ANY
OTHER QUESTIONNAIRE YOU MAY SEE:
- It is the ONLY ONE offered to EVERY member, not just a selected
- Every member was exposed, so every member deserves to be
- Every member is an individual and may react differently;
- Every member and their family can be offered individual
- It was developed by national experts, with experience gained
from the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Gulf War;
- It will NOT be part of any FDNY record;
- A private company will do the data scanning and analysis;
- The national experts will oversee the analysis;
- It is completely confidential. We have obtained a FEDERAL CONFIDENTIALITY
CERTIFICATE, at the request of your union, to protect your confidentiality;
- Your unions have stated that NO mental health survey should
be filled out without the protection of a Federal Confidentiality
Certificate. We have obtained this certificate.
- It is part of a comprehensive program that:
- Provides free, voluntary counseling services to you and your
- Allows you to indicate what type of counseling services would
be best received by you and your family members;
- Provides follow up opportunities over the years so that developing
issues will not be neglected or ignored.
- It is the ONLY ONE that will include all RETIRED members affected
To evaluate our members’ emotional well being we asked several
national experts to develop a mental health questionnaire for our
members. These experts had previously helped evaluate firefighters,
first responders, military personnel and civilians after the Oklahoma
Federal Building bombing, US Embassy bombings and the Gulf War.
Our goal is to learn how we are doing individually and as a group,
as well as to improve the way we help each other now and in the
future. We rejected any offer to evaluate only a sample of our workforce.
The response to this event is so varied that EVERY member DESERVES
an opportunity to participate and have his/her voice heard. In addition,
this program provides follow up for many years to come. The emotional
and physical well being of our members is an integral part of our
department’s recovery. This behavioral health questionnaire
is one way to measure how we are doing.
To assure your protection, we applied for and received the highest
level of confidentiality protection offered in this country –
a federal confidentiality certificate. The certificate covers you
when you sign the form attached to the questionnaire. Once signed,
no court in this land can order the release of your information.
Only you have the power to release this information.
We are aware that the events of that day may not be felt in the
first days, weeks or months afterwards.
Our efforts have been directed at ensuring that resources are available
now and in the future to meet the needs of our members and their
families, whether active or retired.. In the field of mental health,
there are many paths towards wellness. There is no clear method
that ensures that wellness. Understanding that fact, we provide
many different programs to meet the different needs of our members.
If you don’t feel comfortable with one approach, you can always
try another. The questionnaire is one tool to help us help you with
programs tailored to your specific needs.
PARTICIPATE IN THE BHS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE
AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.
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American Airlines flight 587 was the second most deadly plane crash
in U.S. history. The members of the FDNY, on duty, off duty, and
retired responded to serve the community.
A group is being developed for firefighter /officers who would
like to discuss their experiences.
When: Beginning December 2, 2002
Where: Knights of Columbus
333 Beach 90th St., Rockaway Beach, NY
For information contact: Shondell at (212) 570-1693
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WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Many people will from time to time say I’m so depressed.
But there is a very distinct difference between the passing ‘blue
mood’ that effects most people from time to time and a Depressive
Depression is an illness that infects a person’s body, mood,
and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way
one feels about oneself, and the way a person sees the world around
them. It is an illness that affects 18.8 million adults in this
country yearly and, if left untreated, can go on for months and
As with other illnesses, a variety of symptoms can be experienced
by depressive disorder sufferers, though not every person experiences
each one. Symptoms include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or ‘empty’ mood;
- Feeling of hopelessness, pessimism;
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness;
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that
were once enjoyed, including sex;
- Decreased energy, feelings of fatigue;
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions;
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping;
- Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain;
- Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts;
- Restlessness, irritability;
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment,
such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.
These symptoms can be daily and persistent. These symptoms can
leave a person feeling exhausted and helpless. But it is important
to realize that these negative views are results of the depression
and may not reflect the actual circumstances of that person’s
life. Sufferers can help themselves by setting realistic goals and
participating in enjoyable activities, confiding in someone trusted
rather than being secretive and ashamed, and realizing that feeling
better rarely happens immediately but takes time. It is important
to be available to friends, co-workers, and family members who demonstrate
these behaviors or speak about their depressive feelings.
The most important step is to get an appropriate diagnosis and
treatment. Family doctors, religious leaders, and clinicians are
often very successful in lending a helping hand. The clinicians
at the CSU are specially trained to spot and treat Depressive Disorders.
Though the nature of the disease means that sufferers will feel
hopeless, it is important to remember that, with time and treatment,
most people will recover.
COLLAPSE SURVIVOR’S GROUP
Thursdays-Continuing for 10 weeks
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
251 Lafayette Street, New York
If interested, please contact Amy or Ashley at 212-570-1693 for
a pre-group appointment.
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FDNY Tobacco Cessation Program
Emotions resulting from the terrorist attacks on September 11,
2001 have contributed to an increase in tobacco smoking for members
of the Department. Since 9/11, 23 percent of former smokers started
smoking again and 29 percent of current smokers started smoking
more. No one can eliminate the daily work exposures nor change the
WTC-related exposures. Given these exposures, stopping tobacco is
the single most important thing members can do to improve their
future health and prolong their lives. “Many members see a
remarkable improvement in their breathing within days of stopping
smoking” said Dr. David Prezant, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
FDNY PROGRAM MADE POSSIBLE BY SUPPORT FROM:
- Chest Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians;
- Pharmacia (makers of the Nicotrol nicotine replacement products
– patch, inhaler and spray);
- Labor, Management and FDNY support;
- Matthew Bars, MS, an expert in tobacco cessation, provides outside
- Staffed by clinicians from the FDNY-BHS, FDNY-CSU, Smoking Consultation
Service, Montefiore Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital,
North Shore University Medical Center and other trained healthcare
It is a FREE, VOLUNTARY program, specific to the needs of FDNY
personnel, includes individual and group counseling and medications
totaling over $1,000 per participant. We create a program using
a combination of nicotine replacement products, medication and counseling
techniques specific to each participant.
Participant FEEDBACK is excellent - over 400 treated
Initial data indicates QUIT RATES over 60%
Open to all FDNY, EMS, Civilian Employees, and their Significant
For info, call 718-999-1942
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FDNY Counseling Service Unit (CSU) provides services to personnel
and to family members of deceased and active Fire Fighters, EMTs
Appointments for individual, couples, family, and phone counseling
are available Monday-Friday 8am – 6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.
The CSU also provides referrals to other areas.
251 Lafayette St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY
(212) 570 – 1693
1688 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY
(718) 352 – 2140
Brentwood, Suffolk County
NY Fire Department
Center Cottage-Suffolk County
Crooked Hill Road
Brentwood NY 11717
2279 Goshen Turnpike
Putnam, Rockland County
FDNY Bureau of Health Services
9 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201
251 Lafayette Street, NY
For information on groups or upcoming events
please call (212) 570-1693.
Dr. Kerry Kelly
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. David Prezant
Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Director, FDNY CSU
Mary T. McLaughlin
Director, FDNY BHS
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