From the first chaotic days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the co-directors of the Consortium – Marylene Cloitre, PhD, Spencer Eth, MD, Randall Marshall, MD, and Rachel Yehuda, PhD – shared a collective sense of alarm that the need for mental health services in our community would greatly exceed capacity to provide evidence-based treatment for trauma-related problems and disorders. Because federal programs almost exclusively emphasize the public health objective of restoring the general population to a semblance of normal functioning, we worried that there would not be adequate programs devoted to helping persons developing serious psychiatric disorder as a result of the attacks. Subsequent epidemiological studies (reviewed in this volume) confirmed our impression, but by the time these data were available – many months after 9/11 – we were already well underway with the project of providing intensive training to a group of clinicians at each of our centers, who could then serve as expert treatment providers, and, more importantly, clinician experts available to the community for educational programs. In sum, the Consortium was a rapidly implemented large-scale project with the overall objective of disseminating evidence-based treatments for trauma-related disorders to the greater New York community.
During the first year alone, approximately 920 patients were evaluated and treated at all sites. Treatment was provided in English, Spanish, Hebrew, German, Korean, and several Chinese dialects. Some sites developed intensive trainings for clinicians, and other focused on clinical work or other kinds of educational programs (e.g. intensive training and supervision for a small group of community clinicians).