Help Soldiers Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
American combat veterans need you. You might be surprised at how you can help.
One wife talked about being strangled in the middle of the night by her husband.
In 2006, Military Ministry, a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry, asked a group of Army soldiers and their spouses, "What are the greatest challenges you face?" The men and women had been randomly selected, but every single one of them spoke about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur in response to a traumatic event. It is the most severe form of combat trauma. According to USA Today, 48,000 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans have sought treatment for PTSD.
Nearly 1 in 5 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan will suffer from PTSD. For these veterans’suicide rate is almost twice the national average and 2 out of 3 of their marriages are failing according to Military Ministry.
Less than 40% of veterans with PTSD will seek help. Many who suffer from combat trauma are reluctant to seek help from military channels because of how it could affect their records. Questions of mental illness could disqualify them from leadership and/or desirable assignments.
In addition, American veterans comprise 25% to 30% of the homeless population.
After hearing heart-wrenching calls for help from the men and women they interviewed, the staff members in Military Ministry knew they had to do something.
In response, Military Ministry created the Bridges to Healing Ministry, designed to help Christians and churches provide spiritual care for men and women suffering from combat trauma.
God cares deeply for these wounded soldiers. You can be a bridge connecting veterans to God, the ultimate Healer. Many times healing begins when a veteran discovers they are not forgotten by America's citizens or by God.
Veterans of all ages suffer from combat trauma. In every community, there are men and women who will never forget the nightmare of war.
The Bridges to Healing Ministry does not require experience or a counseling degree. It is designed to be used by everyday men and women who are willing to show they care.
Although PTSD should be treated by a medical professional, friends are able to care for soldiers in ways even psychologists can’t. Some of the suggestions are as simple as providing a meal or listening to a veteran’s story.
There are also guidelines for how to start a small group in your church for veterans and tips on how to care for military families in crisis.
Military Ministry has what you need to start a ministry to the military in your church or community. Visit Military Ministry's PTSD website.
or call 1-888-444-6006 to request materials, including:
- A Church Guide for Ministering to the Military
- The Bridges to Healing video
- Books about combat trauma, including a manual on Christ-centered solutions for combat trauma.
- Care and Counsel for Combat Trauma -- a 30-hour video series that we produced with the American association of Christian Counselors (AACC). It helps to train lay and professional counselors for how to minister to those with combat trauma.
- Also, 3-hour to a full-day seminars are offered by Military Ministry to train churches how to care for American veterans.