UUCRT to Partner with Veterans Administration on Community Training
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern board of trustees voted in March to partner with the Veterans Administration to host a Community Clergy Training Event July 19 at the UUCRT.
Rural veterans in particular have limited health care options, especially for mental health care. Research indicates that mental health stigma is significant in rural America and often inhibits Veterans from seeking needed care. However, many feel that seeking help in rural faith communities will have less negative impact on their reputation within the community and on their military career. Clerics are recognized community leaders and can have a wide influence on public opinion, however, many clergy members have a limited understanding of the challenges common to returning warriors and lack the knowledge necessary to care for Veterans struggling with post-deployment and mental health related issues.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Chaplain Center and Office of Rural Health established a national Community Clergy Training Program (CCTP) to educate faith communities about how they might better use their resources to support Veterans and family members who may otherwise feel isolated, alienated and helpless. The CCTP aims to increase rural clergy’s ability to identify and support rural Veterans with reintegration challenges.