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Americans understand the psychological threat of terrorism and want help
Americans know that terrorism is psychological warfare designed to cause fear and distress among the public. And most Americans believe the United States will experience a terrorist attack in the near future.
Those are among the leading conclusions reached in a December 2003 nationally representative and census-balanced telephone study conducted by Widmeyer Research and Polling, Washington, DC, for several national mental health groups.
Americans reported that besides worrying about a coming terrorist attack, the intentional nature of terrorism and fear of the unknown are major reasons they experience fear and distress about the threat of terrorism.
They say the government is not doing enough to address the mental health impact of the threat of terrorism, and there is strong sentiment for the position that public officials could do a much better job of communicating with the public about the issue and that the nation’s public health, medical, and emergency response systems are not meeting the mental health needs of the public that result from the threat of terrorism.
Americans told the pollsters they want access to programs that will help them cope with the fear and distress the threat of terrorism causes.
They want the federal government to take the lead, but also want the mental health community involved in delivery of programs at the community level.
Other poll findings:
(Download a copy of the full report from the web site of the National Mental Health Association at www.nmha.org/newsroom/surveys.cfm.)