Sunday, July 2, 2017

Clergy Get Schooled on How to Help Veterans Come Home

I am part of Point Man International and while this article says for members of the clergy "it is not usual for them to be one-on-one" that is exactly the best way to do it.

It is not posting on Facebook. It is giving face time. It is not using a cellphone to text back and forth, but using it to talk to someone so you can hear the sound of their voice and know there is compassion there, as well as knowledge. It is not doing push-ups but helping them push the pain away. It is not taking a walk to get attention for something you haven't even bothered to understand, but standing by their side and helping them find the way to take control of their lives back.

PTSD is complicated. Suicide is complicated. Helping them heal takes a lot out of us but what we get back is priceless. As long as people seem so satisfied with what we're doing, nothing will ever change.

If you are going to church this morning, share this with your clergy and elders. They need to do what has been working for over 3 decades.

Clergy training designed to help NH veterans reintegrate

Union Leader
Sunday News Correspondent 

LACONIA - Returning veterans are getting some help from above. 
"Clergy are typically on the front lines of helping veterans and it is not usual for them to be one-on-one dealing with specific issues. This event will help give clergy who don't have any direct connection with the military a better understanding of what vets are facing when they return from deployment," said Heilshorn.

Veterans display their colors during the annual Freedom Ride and Vigil at Hesky Park in Meredith during Motorcycle Week. (Bea Lewis/Sunday News Correspondent) 

Genesis Behavioral Health and the Veterans Administration are partnering to train clergy to recognize the challenges faced today by servicemen and women, active or retired.

The challenges of reintegration, coupled with issues that may be linked to their service, can result in problems that go unrecognized or develop slowly over time, said Ann Nichols, director of Development and Public Relations for GBH.

"Our role is to teach clergy and designated lay people how to play such an important role. It's a really nice partnership with the VA to have the opportunity to be able to do this," Nichols said.

"The military culture is so ingrained in our soldiers and competes with other things we know in life it doesn't surprise me that there are challenges. It's important to remove the stigma and to be able to have a positive impact on veterans and their families."

Approximately 115,000 veterans live in New Hampshire. A third are from the Vietnam Era, and more than 48 percent are 65 years of age or older, compared with 15 percent of the civilian population. The second largest group of veterans is from the Gulf Wars, with more than 7,000 coming from post-9/11 service. Only 30,000 of the 115,000 use the VA Medical Center, according to the state Bureau of Community Based Military more here 

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