"In the fall of the year preceding the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City a and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and subsequent bioterrorist anthrax attacks, plans were begun for our conference, 'Planning for Biological Events: Responses to Terrorism and Infectious Disease Outbreaks.' The goal of this conference was to address the state and local needs in preparation for behavioral and mental health consequence management after a bioterrorist attack. The importance of the conference was evident as it was held in October shortly after bioterrorist anthrax attacks had begun in New York City and Washington, D.C. The conference brought together national and international experts in disaster mental health, the social sciences and health care and policy planners from states and regions across the nation. The result has been a detailed consideration of the needs of state, local and regional as well as national contributions to mental health care needs after a bioterrorist attack. Planning for mental health and behavioral consequence management after a bioterrorist attack must address the nation as a whole. The goal of terrorism is to disrupt the continuity of the nation by instilling fear and decreasing safety. This affects not only those who may develop mental health problems but also those who continue to work and care for their families and loved ones while experiencing an altered sense of safety, increased fear and arousal and concern for their future. Consequence management for mental health begins with considering the needs of the nation as a whole and then moves to the needs of those directly exposed and those who may have been vulnerable before a bioterrorist attack and now bear the additional burdens of lost supports and increased demands."