The state of Alabama is promoting the idea of using faith-based ministries to help military veterans. The Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service is joining other groups in sponsoring a seminar to help pastors, clergy and other faith leaders reach out to veterans. Alabama has more than 400,000 veterans, and at least 4,000 of them are affected by post-traumatic stress syndrome. As many as 5 percent of them are believed to be contemplating suicide.
The federal government is helping Alabama pastors learn how to assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Veterans Affairs Medical Center is Tuscaloosa is offering a seminar this week to educate pastors, priests and other church leaders about PTSD and depression.
VA chaplain John Bailey says research shows that almost half of veterans will turn to a member of the clergy first before they seek out a mental health provider.