Healing Families and Communities After Tragedy
Voices of September 11th (VOICES) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2001. The organization is led by founding director Mary Fetchet, a clinical social worker whose 24 year old son, Brad died on 9/11.
For over 17 years, VOICES professional staff has provided a wide range of long-term support services to assist victims' families, survivors and responders in accessing resources and mental health care, promoting resiliency in their lives.
VOICES Living Memorial Project commemorates the 2,977 lives lost and documents stories of survivors.
VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience assists individuals and communities impacted by other acts of terrorism and mass violence, in the United States and abroad. Through public-private partnerships, Center initiatives include conferences, curriculum development and training, research and dissemination of information on mental health care, victims' services and national preparedness.
Helping Others Heal
VOICES professional staff provides a wide range of support services and programs that address the long-term, evolving needs of the thousands of victims' families, survivors and responders that we serve, promoting healing and resiliency in their lives. Programs include direct services, assessments and referrals, workshops and conferences, including our annual anniversary events, September 9 Resiliency Symposium and September 10 Day of Remembrance Information Forum.
VOICES By the Numbers
Symposiums and Conferences
Learning, Growing and Gathering Together as a Community
In 2018, VOICES held three conferences, each bringing together the 9/11 community and those impacted by other tragedies with leading practitioners, researchers and service providers with decades of professional expertise in the fields of mental health, bereavement, resiliency. Over 300 attendees joined our events and over 4,000 viewed the panels online, which were broadcast via Facebook Live.
New Jersey Resiliency Symposium
May 18 - Kean University
VOICES New Jersey Symposium featured presentations and round-table conversations to promote long-term healing and provide relevant information for the 9/11 community.
Presentation topics included the World Trade Center Health Program, coping after loss, building resiliency and developing coping skills, treatment modalities and alternative treatments, promoting post-traumatic growth, and coping through mindfulness.
John Feal and the FealGood Foundation co-hosted the event, which was also sponsored by the World Trade Center Health Program, Turken, Heath & McCauley, and Kean University's Nathan Weiss Graduate College.
17th Anniversary Resiliency Symposium
September 9 - New York City
VOICES Resiliency Symposium: Knowledge to Practice, Pathways to Long-Term Healing- A Victim-Centered Approach was a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between research and practice, as well as to learn from individuals who have been directly affected by acts of terrorism and mass violence.
This year, we were honored to hear testimonies from parents who lost children in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as well as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The day-long event also included presentations by accomplished subject matter experts who have dedicated their careers to researching and treating the multi-generational impact of trauma; PTSD and anxiety; supporting victims of mass tragedy; and promoting resiliency in responders and the community at-large.
Day of Remembrance Information Forum
September 10 - New York City
VOICES 17th Annual Day of Remembrance Information Forum: Reflecting, Remembering, and Inspiring a Resilient Community brought together the 9/11 community, along with researchers, practitioners and others who have dedicated their careers to providing long-term support services for 9/11 families, survivors and responders. Representatives from the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Centers of Excellence provided important updates on treatment for medical and psychological conditions. Legal experts and victims' advocates discussed victim compensation programs. Clinicians with decades of professional experience shared their expertise about mental health treatment, helping children and adults cope with loss, and building strength and resiliency
The afternoon began with peer-to-peer roundtable discussions led by mental health professionals about incorporating resilience into daily life. Representatives from the National September 11th Memorial Museum provided an overview of the Comeback Season exhibit and plans for the 9/11 Memorial Glade.
We were honored to have ESPN Host Mike Greenberg and Former Manager of the New York Mets Bobby Valentine conclude the program with an uplifting conversation about how sports united the nation after 9/11.
Sharing Lessons Learned
From Edmonton, Canada to Washington, DC, in 2018 VOICES participated in 15 conferences in the United States and abroad, sharing our expertise with over 4,000 professionals from federal agencies, law enforcement and social service organizations. VOICES remains committed to sharing our lessons learned to assist communities in preparing for and responding to acts of mass violence, and we are honored to work collaboratively with like-minded individuals and organizations to achieve our shared goals.
This year we participated in events hosted by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Yale University, Military Family Services Program of Edmonton, Leadership in Counter Terrorism (LinCT), International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). Presentations included a variety of topics including Commemorating the Lives Lost on 9/11; Creating a Narrative for Survivors; Identifying the Long-term Mental Health Needs of Victims of Terrorism; Promoting Resilience and Recovery in Victims’ Families; and Effective Advocacy for Social Change.
9/11 Living Memorial Project
Commemorating the Lives and Stories of September 11, 2001
VOICES 9/11 Living Memorial is an online archive commemorating the 2,977 lives lost and documenting stories of survivors. For over a decade, VOICES staff has worked one-on-one with families to document the precious lives of their loved ones in a meaningful way, and document the compelling stories of survivors. Today the Living Memorial is an extensive collection of over 85,000 photographs that will continue to grow over time, leaving a legacy ensuring future generations will always remember.
Supporting Survivors and Responders Suffering from 9/11-Related Illnesses
VOICES assists survivors and responders in accessing treatment for life-threatening illnesses and serious medical conditions due to their exposure to toxins in Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Since the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010, VOICES has supported 9/11 survivors and responders through our work with the Centers for Disease Control. Working in collaboration with our outreach partners we assist survivors and responders in the process of enrolling for medical and mental health treatment at the World Trade Center Health Program Centers of Excellence.
Today, over 40,000 have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, including most cancers and serious mental health conditions including PTSD. VOICES assists over 1,400 survivors and responders by providing relevant information, direct services and annual conferences and workshops.
VOICES Research: Knowledge to Practice
Long-Term Needs of Victims' Families, Survivors and Responders
In 2018 VOICES launched Knowledge to Practice: Actionable Recommendations for Victims and First Responders to Better Plan and Heal from Mass Violence, a research project funded by Public Safety Canada's Policy Development Contribution Program. Working in collaboration with the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, the project is examining key findings of VOICES prior research by conducting interviews with key stakeholders.
Following acts of mass violence, victims' families, survivors and first responders often struggle as a result of their exposures, resulting in challenges that require interventions. If their needs are not met with supportive interventions, recovery is often difficult.
Knowledge to Practice seeks to better understand these needs by reviewing the experiences of victims' families and responders in accessing resources in the aftermath of 9/11, and canvassing service providers and community stakeholders who
Previous research initiatives VOICES conducted include:
- Investigating the Long-term Impact of Bereavement due to Terrorism: Factors that Contribute to Trauma, Grief, Growth and Resilience
- Knowledge to Practice: Actionable Recommendations for Victims and First Responders to Better Plan and Heal from Mass Violence
- VOICES of Experience: Helping Communities Heal After Traumatic Events
- VOICES Preparing for After Resource Kit
VOICES Internship Program
Creating a Legacy for Future Generations
VOICES High School and College Internship Program provides students with valuable professional experience and the opportunity to learn first-hand about the events of September 11th. As part of the program, our interns work alongside our staff and learn about 9/11 in a different way, creating the next generation of leaders. They also had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial and United Nations and attend the Jerusalem Peacebuilders conference in New Haven along with student leaders from Israel and Palestine.
Over the summer, our interns researched 9/11 topics, conducted dozens of interviews and produced a short film, Reflecting and Moving Forward - Stories of Resiliency After 9/11. The film was presented to local high school students and community members. View the film by visiting: www.bit.ly/VOICESInternVideo
Since its inception in 2005, VOICES Internship Program has hosted over 180 students from seven high schools and more than 30 colleges have participated in the program. Many of the interns have found this to be a life-changing experience and have been inspired to pursue careers in the nonprofit sector, social work, with federal agencies and in government offices.
VOICES 4th Annual Golf Outing
On July 23 we hosted our 4th Annual Golf Outing at Westchester Country Club. Participants enjoyed a spectacular day of golf, followed by an intimate dinner and speaker program.
Special guest speakers included ESPN's Mike Greenberg and former New York Mets Manager Bobby Valentine, who shared his personal journey after 9/11. We were also honored to have a group of responders from the Joint Terrorism Task Force join us for the day.
Funds raised from the Golf Outing support VOICES efforts to provide long-term mental health care and resources for 9/11 families, survivors and responders; commemorate the 2,977 lives lost; and share our lessons learned with communities impacted by other tragedies, both in the United States and abroad.
10th Annual Always Remember Gala
VOICES 10th Annual Always Remember Gala was held on April 12 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. We were thrilled to have Mike Greenberg, ESPN's award-winning journalist and broadcaster, serve as our Emcee.
VOICES 2018 Leadership Award was presented to Former Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta in recognition of his lifetime commitment to public service spanning over five decades, and his unwavering dedication to protecting our nation.
60 Minutes Award-Winning Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan was recognized with VOICES 2018 Building Bridges Award for her extraordinary bravery and dedication to reporting the news, ensuring international communication of world events. As always, there was a strong sense of community among the nearly 300 attendees, who came together to reflect, remember and support our work.
The Power of Many: Volunteers & Partnerships
Our work at VOICES would not be possible without the generous donation of time, talent, and support provided by our volunteers, donors, and sponsors who share our commitment to helping those impacted by tragic events.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Lady's Giving Circle
Goldman Sachs Volunteer Day
Special thanks to ESPN Radio
for broadcasting PSAs featuring Mike Greenberg and Michael Kay. Listen here: www.bit.ly/ESPNPSAs
Our Partners & Sponsors
VOICES has partnered with like-minded subject matter experts, academics, educational institutions, organizations and government agencies working in the fields of mental health and trauma-informed treatment, promoting resilience and recovery, victim's services, and community response. The following are a sample of our 2018 collaborative partners.
Leadership & Advisors
Board of Directors
Kurt Wolfgruber, Chairman
Frank Fetchet (Ex Officio)
Mary Fetchet, LCSW (Ex Officio)
Bonnie McEneaney McNamara
Senior Advisory Board
Robert E. Campbell
Richard L. Edwards PHD, ACSW
Diane Elmore, Ph.D., M.P.H.
John Fairbank, Ph.D.
Bernie Siegel, MD
Stephen Flynn, PHD
Robyn R. Gershon, DPH
The Honorable Thomas H. Kean
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman