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2016-04-29T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong John Oliver?

Rev. Dr. John Oliver Durvamc

Chief of Chaplain Services

Veterans Affairs Canada

HQ Phone: (613) 996-4649

Veterans Affairs Canada

66 Slater Street Suite 1405

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P4

Canada

Company Description

Ottawa, ON - Today, Guy Parent, Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, renewed his call on Veterans Affairs Canada to implement changes to the Veterans' Funeral and Burial Program. "The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman issued its report, Serve with Honour, Depart... more

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Background Information

Employment History

Chief, Chaplain Service
Department of Veterans Affairs

Minister of Natural Resources
The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education , Inc.

Chief of the Chaplain Service
Durham VA Medical Center

Chief of Chaplain Service
VA Medical Center

Chaplain
National Association of Veterans Affairs Chaplains

Affiliations

Chaplain and Trustee
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

Web References (60 Total References)


Forty-four percent of veterans return to ...

www.northcarolinahealthnews.org [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.


Keynote speaker for the event John ...

www.biblicalrecorder.net [cached]

Keynote speaker for the event John Oliver, chief of chaplain services at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, began the conference by setting the scene for what often happens when service members come home.

...
Oliver said the enormity of war can "shatter one's basic sense of safety" and veterans struggle with learning to trust again after their lives have been so drastically changed or shattered. Veterans often need to re-learn basic skills.
Sometime veterans are withdrawn and do not want to talk to family or friends, especially about what happened during war. "We have to find a balance of caring for the person and not letting them stay in their hole too long, but also giving them time," Oliver said.
Natural reaction Oliver defined PTSD as "an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more terrifying events that threatened or caused grave physical harm.
...
"Reactions from war are normal," Oliver said. "Trauma reactions are not indicative of moral weakness or sin."
Trauma can influence a person's behavior and their interpersonal life, from inability to keep close relationships to uncontrollable negative thoughts. Sometimes the pain of trauma is more than a person can bear, and some soldiers have resorted to suicide. "This is not a conversation we have the luxury of not having," Oliver said.
...
"Provide a compassionate space wide enough to encompass the awfulness of war trauma," Oliver said.
Veterans may need help working through their spiritual reactions to trauma. Trauma can lead to confusion about God, loss of previously held beliefs and confusion about morality and core ethical beliefs.
Pastors must listen. Listening does not mean letting the words "wash over you as you think about the next thing you're going to say," Oliver said. Pastors must avoid trying to fix the problem, pushing for details about the deployment or offering platitudes. "They want to tell you where they are hurting if you will just listen," Oliver said.
Oliver encouraged pastors to, as often as necessary, refer people to mental health professionals. A pastor's referral can help validate the need for such services and even help destigmatize the use of mental health services. Pastors should avoid prematurely assessing someone's feelings of guilt. Veterans need to be able to name their fears, shortcomings and strengths. "They need to live through that pain," Oliver said. "We have to live through the real stuff."
Oliver said the local church can prove one of the greatest points of grace for returning veterans.


"Anybody who puts a foot in ...

www.thesouthern.com [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.
...
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.
...
"And they need your help," Oliver concluded.


"Anybody who puts a foot in ...

www.southernillinoisan.com [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.
...
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.
...
"And they need your help," Oliver concluded.


"Anybody who puts a foot in ...

www.southernillinoisan.com [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.
...
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.
...
"And they need your help," Oliver concluded.

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