Chaplains are often the first line of defense for service members’ moral and spiritual concerns. They provide counsel in theater to help service members deal with battlefield experiences and when service members return home and face new challenges.
Chaplains Working Group
DCoE offers a Chaplains Working Group to provide Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, and civilian chaplains and mental health providers with spiritually-focused information and resources. The bimonthly teleconference allows chaplains and providers the opportunity to discuss needs, concerns and suggestions for counseling our nation’s service members.
The group call occurs bimonthly usually on the first Wednesday of the month from 1:30-3 p.m. (ET). For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An archive of past Chaplains Working Group presentations can be accessed with a CAC at the Chaplains Working Group Max.gov site.
Joint Incentive Fund: Improving Patient Centered Care via Integration of Chaplains with Mental Health Care
Integrated Mental Health Strategy Strategic Action 23 found that chaplains commonly encounter service members and veterans experiencing suicidality, combat stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, post-deployment adjustment concerns and relationship conflicts.
To continue the work of the strategic action, DHCC and the VA initiated a Joint Incentive Fund (JIF) project. Funded from April 2013 through September 2015, the JIF aimed to train DoD and VA chaplains and mental health providers in systematic integration of care, best practices for chaplains and mental health providers, and improved assessment and charting of spiritual distress and growth.
The JIF effort included a Mental Health Integration of Chaplain Services (MHICS) training program, a one-year program that aimed to better equip selected chaplains in the provision of care to service members and veterans mental health problems, addresses topics including spirituality and linkages to mental health, problem solving therapy, motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, care for the care provider and chaplaincy standards of practice.
DHCC collaborated with the VA to create three Bridging Mental Health and Chaplaincy Videos which provide introductory education on the rationale and basic considerations for integrating mental health and chaplain services. Instructions are provided for each video on how to obtain Continuing Education Credits.