The role of spiritual care in PTSD and TBI

Online ‘ChatWithAChaplain’ service also debuts

In our focus on technology, particularly on how it can assist in determining risk or helping patients to better manage the effects of PTSD and TBI, we neglect the critical role of personal spiritual care. In the military, the first line of this type of care are chaplains. This excellent 100 page handbook issued by the US Navy’s Chaplain Corps and their Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is a brief for chaplains explaining the medical and psychological nature of PTSD and TBI, how they can provide service members with culturally appropriate spiritual care, and how they integrate it with the mental health team’s work. For those outside the military working with approaches to these conditions, it is a wealth of medical and treatment information in one place–and will influence your thinking. It was co-authored by The Rev. George Handzo, VP for Pastoral Care Leadership and Practice at The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, a nonprofit healthcare organization which helps people in distress from illness and suffering find comfort and meaning. HCCN is a leader in providing compassionate spiritual care in hospitals, online, and elsewhere, and is a national center for chaplain training and education. [Editor Donna’s disclosure: she is a volunteer on the HCC’s marketing advisory council.] Best Practices for the Provision of Spiritual Care to Persons with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury (PDF) Hat tip to Jim Siegel of the HCCN

The HCCN has also developed a new ‘on-call’ service called ChatWithAChaplain which provides one-on-one assistance by a professional trained chaplain either by email or phone. To this Editor’s knowledge, this is the first service of its kind. The main service, ChaplainsOnHand, contains a wealth of resource materials, tools and checklists for both the seriously ill and their caregivers, including grief and loss. Certainly in today’s world, two badly needed services for those coping with illness and their loved ones. Release.

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