Spiritual Care for Veterans
Written by Lydia D’Ross, Ordained Minister and Outreach Chaplain for Renewal at Brookhaven Hospital
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has acknowledged the necessity of making spiritual and pastoral care available to veterans. Mental health practitioners are the key to incorporating spirituality into the mental healthcare of veterans, as well as collaborating with VHA chaplains. This component is especially important when they have returned home from serving and reunite with their families and loved ones. Chaplains can play a critical role in the reunification process.
“Through spiritual care, mental health practitioners have the opportunity to remind veterans of the omnipotent God, who is the protector and rescuer,” writes Stephanie T. Wynn in her article, “After the Trenches: Spiritual Care of Veterans,” (Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct-Dec 2015).
According to Bonner et al., (2013), a large number of veterans are open to seeking help for emotional issues from spiritual counselors, primary care providers, psychiatrists, and other mental health practitioners. Scholars note that people who have mental illnesses receive relief from expressing their spirituality (Bormann J. E., Liu L., Thorp S. R., Lan A. J., 2012).
There is hope for veterans and their families. Here at Brookhaven Hospital, we provide treatment of the whole person which includes spiritual care through our Renewal Christian Care program.