World Trade Center Non-Traditional Responders’ Employment and Mental Health Study

July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2025

PI: Dr. Susan E. Peters
Research Associate: Dr. Maren Wright Voss

The World Trade Center Non-Traditional Responders’ Employment and Mental Health Study aims to identify how employment and working conditions, and union and employer policies, programs, and practices, have affected World Trade Center non-traditional responders’ mental health, well-being, and health behaviors over the two decades since the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack. World Trade Center (WTC) responders, including Non-Traditional Responders (NTR) such as construction, electrical, and transportation workers, were exposed to traumatic destruction and loss of life during months of rescue and recovery work. Since September 11, 2001, many of these workers have reported high rates of poor mental health. Because many WTC responders remain employed, the workplace offers a critical opportunity for providing support for their mental health and well-being. Utilizing a Total Worker Health® approach, this study links longitudinal data collected from the WTC General Responder Cohort to new survey data collected from WTC NTR who are currently working.

This study addresses the potential role that employment and supportive working conditions play in sustaining and improving WTC NTR mental health, by examining the relationships of employment patterns and working conditions to mental health and well-being, in order to inform improvements in workplace policies, programs, and practices that support workers’ health. Our study’s findings have the potential to identify work and workplace supports that positively contribute to responders’ mental health, well-being, and health behaviors.

This study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.