Chaplaincy and Mental Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense

Jason A. Nieuwsma, Jeffrey E. Rhodes, George L. Jackson, William C. Cantrell, Marian E. Lane, Mark J. Bates, Mark B. Dekraai, Denise J. Bulling, Keith Ethridge, Kent D. Drescher, George Fitchett, Wendy N. Tenhula, Glen Milstein, Robert M. Bray, Keith G. Meador

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chaplains play important roles in caring for Veterans and Service members with mental health problems. As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) Integrated Mental Health Strategy, we used a sequential approach to examining intersections between chaplaincy and mental health by gathering and building upon: 1) input from key subject matter experts; 2) quantitative data from the VA / DoD Chaplain Survey (N = 2,163; response rate of 75% in VA and 60% in DoD); and 3) qualitative data from site visits to 33 VA and DoD facilities. Findings indicate that chaplains are extensively involved in caring for individuals with mental health problems, yet integration between mental health and chaplaincy is frequently limited due to difficulties between the disciplines in establishing familiarity and trust. We present recommendations for improving integration of services, and we suggest key domains for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health Care Chaplaincy
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • chaplaincy
  • integrated care
  • mental health
  • military
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Religious studies

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    Nieuwsma, J. A., Rhodes, J. E., Jackson, G. L., Cantrell, W. C., Lane, M. E., Bates, M. J., Dekraai, M. B., Bulling, D. J., Ethridge, K., Drescher, K. D., Fitchett, G., Tenhula, W. N., Milstein, G., Bray, R. M., & Meador, K. G. (2013). Chaplaincy and Mental Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 19(1), 3-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/08854726.2013.775820