CSC’s Warrior Partnerships of Eastern Oklahoma and the Department of Veterans Affairs National Chaplain Center and Office of Rural Health led a one-day training on issues facing returning veterans and their families following deployment.
The workshop, “Healing the Invisible Wounds of War” was held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6 at OSU-Tulsa. It explored aspects of military culture and the style of response necessary to build a collaborative, integrated healing community. The invitation-only event was designed for clergy and others actively concerned about Tulsa’s veteran population.
“Tulsa and the Muskogee area are gaining momentum on understanding more about transition issues for our veterans. Coming back is not necessarily coming home,” said Erv Janssen, M.D., CSC board member.
Training topics included post-deployment readjustment challenges; the psychological, physical, behavioral, and spiritual effects of war trauma on survivors and the important role of the community in helping to reduce mental health stigma.
Additionally, the workshop helped participants learn to recognize the differences between military and civilian culture, provide guidance for pastoral and supportive community care to veterans and their families, and recognize signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and moral-spirit injury (broadly defined as the response to a sense of violating their own moral values).
Attendees also learned about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and community mental health services available as well as how to connect with local community and VA services (in Tulsa and Muskogee) to request information or assistance.
“We anticipate other workshops will be created out of the needs expressed during this first experience,” Janssen said.