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Voices of September 11 th (VOICES) helps families and communities heal after tragedies. The internationally recognized organization provides information and support services that promote resiliency in the lives of victims’ families, responders and survivors; commemorates the lives and stories of September 11, 2001; shares best practices to assist communities in providing for and responding to traumatic events; and advocates for public policy reforms that promote national preparedness.
VOICES is a nonpartisan organization led by founding director, clinical social worker (LCSW) and New Canaan resident, Mary Fetchet, whose son, Brad, 24, perished in the World Trade Center attacks.
Founded in 2002, VOICES is committed to its core mission of supporting the ongoing needs of those impacted by the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 by providing a wide range of programs, including teleconference groups, case management services, 9/11 Living Memorial workshops, annual 9/11 Day of Remembrance events, and other events that build resiliency. VOICES serves more than 16,000 registered members with information outreach and programs on the many aspects of post-9/11 life, with a particular focus on helping 9/11 families, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, and others affected by 9/11 navigate complex health and legal issues and on fostering resiliency with mental health programs.
Mary Fetchet’s extensive mental health experience as a clinical social worker and her professional commitment to providing continuity of care permeate the organization. Her first-hand experience as a 9/11 family member makes VOICES uniquely qualified to anticipate the challenges those impacted face, and to develop programs that promote resiliency within the 9/11 community. VOICES staff includes a caring and compassionate team of mental health professionals who develop and implement programs.
VOICES is headquartered in New Canaan, CT and in May 2009 opened an office in New Brunswick, New Jersey. VOICES works both locally (primarily the Tristate area) and nationally and, on occasion, conducts international outreach activities. We are committed to building local partnerships through our internship and volunteer programs, and with organizations that provide support to nonprofits.
VOICES has made significant contributions to promote preparedness on the local, state and federal levels by supporting the creation of the 9/11 Commission and passage of the Collins-Lieberman Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention act of 2004 and the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. Ms. Fetchet is also a sought-after speaker for conferences related to homeland security and 9/11 family issues. A strong advocate for national preparedness, VOICES promotes reforms to make the country safer and shares best practices to heal families and communities after tragedy.
In 2006, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial project, an extensive digital archive commemorating the nearly 3,000 lives lost and documenting stories of responders and survivors. VOICES staff traveled to hundreds of communities to meet one-on-one with over 1,600 families, to assist them through the emotional, but therapeutic, process of commemorating their loved ones in a meaningful way. The Living Memorial is now an extensive collection of over 70,000 photographs and personal keepsakes and is now online at www.voicesofseptember11.org. VOICES gifted this extensive collection to our partner, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, where it is a central component of the In Memoriam exhibit.
Recent acts of mass violence and natural disasters have underscored the need for communities to be better prepared. In September 2014, VOICES will launch a comprehensive Resource Kit to assist communities in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from incidents of mass violence. Recommendations are based on extensive research and interviews conducted with hundreds of service providers who responded to the September 11th attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the shootings at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and in Tucson, Arizona.
This year, VOICES launched the Center for Excellence for Community Resilience, as part of the organization’s commitment to helping families and communities heal after other tragedies. VOICES Center acts as a clearinghouse of information, sharing over a decade of expertise and research findings that address the long-term needs of victims’ families and survivors. The initiative will expand through partnerships with subject matter experts, government agencies, organizations, and universities.
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