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This profile was last updated on 4/30/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. John P. Oliver

Wrong Dr. John P. Oliver?

Chief, Chaplain Service

Local Address: Durham, North Carolina, United States
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave., Nw
Washington Dc, District of Columbia 20420
United States

Company Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established on March 15, 1989, succeeding the Veterans Administration. It is responsible for providing federal benefits...   more
Background

Employment History

38 Total References
Web References
Forty-four percent of veterans return to ...
www.northcarolinahealthnews.org, 12 Mar 2012 [cached]
Forty-four percent of veterans return to rural areas, often far from VA services, according John Oliver, chief of chaplain services at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham.
...
"We have research that shows that people are four or five times more likely to go to their pastors than to go to all other mental health providers, combined, when they have a problem," said the Durham VA's John Oliver.
"It's easy to get in, easy to talk to somebody, they don't have trouble with the parking lot, you don't have to pay… access is a big issue," Oliver said.
VA Chaplain John Oliver makes a point at a training for rural pastors sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, last week.
VA Chaplain John Oliver makes a point at a training for rural pastors sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, last week.
Oliver also said pastors often know the veterans in their communities and they know their families.
"Especially for African Americans. They're much more likely to go to their pastor than a mental health provider and it's even higher still for Asian Americans," Oliver said. "There's a cultural awareness that the pastor understands my culture and my situation, better than someone on the outside would."
Female relatives are another reason veterans end up in the parsonage, rather than a doctor's office.
"Their mother said, 'go see the pastor' and their grandmother said, 'go see the pastor' or their wife told them. Oliver said.
But the problem, Oliver said, is that many pastors are more highly trained in scripture and theology, but have only rudimentary training in counseling. His goal is to train the pastors to refer people who are experiencing continuing distress to VA facilities for further help.
"They're always the pastor, they're not the psychologist," Oliver said.
...
Oliver uses the training to give pastors without military experience an idea of what it's like to come back after having experienced trauma. In one exercise, he stands pastors in circles, and has them hand around a ball of yarn after talking about something that helps them cope with stress. Before long the pastors weave a taut web.
Oliver asks each group what happens if they can no longer do the thing that helps them to cope, whether it be pray, walk in the woods, or talk to their best friend who may have been killed by an explosion. Then he cuts the web apart.
"This is what happens when someone experiences trauma," Oliver said.
"The best predictor of someone doing well after coming home is having a solid community behind them," Oliver said.
"Anybody who puts a foot in ...
www.thesouthern.com, 1 Jan 2008 [cached]
"Anybody who puts a foot in the dirt of a combat zone comes home with challenges," said John Oliver, chief chaplain and clinical pastoral education supervisor for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
But soldiers aren't necessarily sharing these challenges with the medical community designed to support them, sometimes because of the persistent stigma of seeking professional help. And they aren't always coming to their friends and families, whom they often try to shield from the horrors they've witnessed or even perpetrated and the problems they face upon return.
Where they are laying their burdens down is the church.
"They come to pastors at a rate of five times more often than they go to all mental health care providers combined," Oliver said.
...
Oliver spoke at the Marion VA last month to a dozen regional pastors about the complexities of current conflicts, which he believes are more psychologically and spiritually challenging than past wars. One difference is that this is the longest war the United States has fought with an all-volunteer force.
"We have to recognize that this generation of warrior is being asked to do things no other generation of warrior has ever been asked to do," Oliver said. "Soldiers are coming home and going back three and four times. It's such a different context.
...
Operating full-time at the top of the human stress threshold actually alters brain chemistry over time, Oliver said.
...
The teams should include local agencies such as the Marion VA or others that can provide professional help when needed, Oliver said. Members of the team help soldiers and their families in small, concrete ways, such as making a repair call for a stateside spouse suddenly juggling household responsibilities alone.
"Remember that the little things count," said Oliver, noting that churches are most helpful by just being there for a soldier.
...
Oliver used for an example a support team that was bringing Christmas gifts to their adopted soldier when they learned he'd just called the suicide hotline. They believe they saved his life that day by being in the right place at the right time.
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Instead of recommending a call to a professional, Oliver suggested making calls with the individual and getting to know a few people in the care community, such as Marion VA staff, to establish personal relationships for referrals.
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"And they need your help," Oliver concluded.
Officers and Board
www.navac.net, 24 May 2010 [cached]
Chaplain John P. Oliver Chief Chaplain/CPE Supervisor VA Medical Center 508 Fulton St. Durham, NC 27705 E-Mail: John.Oliver@va.gov
Catholic New World - Helping veterans when they return home from war
www.catholicnewworld.com, 6 Nov 2011 [cached]
They can even wonder if they will go to heaven or hell because they've killed someone, according to John Oliver, chief of Chaplain Service at the VA Medical Center in Durham, N.C., who presented at Hines' daylong seminar.
Ministers Can Assist War Veterans Dealing with Trauma
www.usmedicine.com, 3 Feb 2011 [cached]
Speaking during a webinar held by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological and Traumatic Brain Injury, Rev John Oliver, chief of the Chaplain Service at the Durham VA Medical Center said people are five times more likely to confide in their minister than in all other mental health care providers.
A spiritual reaction is among the different reactions that servicemembers who are involved with combat may experience, according to Oliver, who noted that servicemembers may be confused about their faith after their war experience. In addition, servicemembers who come home may lose their community. We have had many veterans come home and they simply dont fit into the college scene. They dont fit into the scenes that they had friends from before. They have also lost their community downrange and the individuals they are deployed with.
Pastors can be helpful in supporting servicemembers and veterans if they understand what PTSD is, Oliver said. A pastor can be a very helpful person in your community if they know what they are talking about, if they understand what PTSD is, and that there are physiological responses to these stresses that they need to be aware of. Oftentimes, pastors do not know this.
As part of his work at the Durham VA Medical Center, Oliver said that he educates pastors and ministers around the country about how they can be helpful. Many pastors are being faced with these issues of folks coming home and they dont know what to do.
Oliver said at the Durham VA Medical Center, chaplains are well integrated into the community that provides help to veterans.
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