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Old 14th August 2018, 11:36 AM   #81
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Theists in general, really.

Or are you asking for help understanding the topic of this thread in particular?
As a human and atheist, I can understand theists. I can even acknowledge that they simply understand some parts of reality differently that me. And state that I accept they simply understand some parts of reality differently that me.

So stop treating all atheists like they are militant anti-theists.

Now if treating all atheists like they are militant anti-theists "helps" you, I acknowledge and accept that this is how you believe, but from there doesn't follow that all atheists are like you believe.
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Old 14th August 2018, 02:27 PM   #82
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I _am_ an anti-theist personally, in that I consider religion to be harmful. But that's irrelevant to the topic that was discussed.

From where I stand, it's the theists that refuse to understand that OTHER religions are just that: OTHER. There's a huge world of difference, not just having another name for their god. They won't be comforted by listening to one of your Jesus fanboys bleat canned Bible stuff at them.

For better or worse, it seems to me like it's the atheists like myself and a few others that actually put in the effort to at least read about other religions and cultures, and try to understand WTH those people would actually believe. It may be inexact (I'm not immune to Dunning-Kruger), but for better or worse I think my whole argument was BASED on how the other religions are different and don't hold the same beliefs, values or cultural mores as some protestant minister that's supposed to counsel them.

I haven't seen any counter-argument other than the ignorant pretense that all theists are the same, and thus can be served by whatever chaplain. And that lack of understanding isn't in the atheist court.
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Old 14th August 2018, 10:58 PM   #83
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The function of chaplains in the armies is to make soldiers better fighters. This can be by making the soldiers believe they have their gods behind them, making them believe that dying is not so bad, or by making them overcome any qualms they might have in killing other humans. They can also help soldiers recover from any horrors they might have seen, or fears they might have or sorrow over the loss of friends and loved ones.

As I see it, a lot of these functions should work equally well with atheists, so chaplains - or counsellors if you wish - is a valuable asset to any army.

It depends on the personality for a chaplain to be useful across some of the religious divides. A strongly missionary chaplain might be counterproductive if used with soldiers of different beliefs than his own.

My own experience with priests is that some are decent persons that I can imagine could help me overcome some of the problems of being a soldier, even though I am an atheist. The same would likely not be possible with an atheist chaplain and theist soldiers, because they might want him to perform the rituals of their faith, and that might not be possible, or even legitimate with an atheist chaplain.
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Old 15th August 2018, 02:03 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
For pete's sake, there are whole "X Games" like competitions that include events like Corn Hole, Rock-Paper-Scissors and playing volleyball only with your head.

There is no doubt, in the age of the internet, you can find people of common interest, regardless of how bizarre the interest. It's like Rule 38, except for social groups (which are also covered by Rule 38)
If you are already in a group of a common interest it is a lot easier to remain in that group. One such group is the church. This also explains why churches are in slow decline. If you are not in a church then you are not likely to want to start going. Those that are in the church are far more likely to find that their church does not meet their needs. Or maybe their parents went and the children see no point in going. So the parents get old and die and so the church loses members.
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Old 16th August 2018, 05:04 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The question isn't (just) what the chaplains themselves are trying to do. I'm sure most of them are fine folks who'd gladly talk to a Muslim or a Shinto just as well.

The problem is whether if I were, say, a conscripted Buddhist or Taoist or Shinto, I'd actually feel that enlightened to hear what someone learned from Jesus about it all.
The question is just how to administer to the different needs of people of different religions, resolving the conflicts between them would be beyond the scope of a chaplain corps.

Towards that end I'd remind you of what should be obvious, that people can (and often do) learn about different religions and philosophies without subscribing to them, and are perfectly capable of discussing those differences in a meaningful way without necessarily feeling like they must advocate for their particular brand.
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Old 16th August 2018, 05:09 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
The function of chaplains in the armies is to make soldiers better fighters. This can be by making the soldiers believe they have their gods behind them, making them believe that dying is not so bad, or by making them overcome any qualms they might have in killing other humans.

...snip...
Nah it was to give some aristocrat's 3rd or 4th son a cushy position.
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Old 16th August 2018, 05:14 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I _am_ an anti-theist personally, in that I consider religion to be harmful. But that's irrelevant to the topic that was discussed.

From where I stand, it's the theists that refuse to understand that OTHER religions are just that: OTHER. There's a huge world of difference, not just having another name for their god. They won't be comforted by listening to one of your Jesus fanboys bleat canned Bible stuff at them.

For better or worse, it seems to me like it's the atheists like myself and a few others that actually put in the effort to at least read about other religions and cultures, and try to understand WTH those people would actually believe. It may be inexact (I'm not immune to Dunning-Kruger), but for better or worse I think my whole argument was BASED on how the other religions are different and don't hold the same beliefs, values or cultural mores as some protestant minister that's supposed to counsel them.

I haven't seen any counter-argument other than the ignorant pretense that all theists are the same, and thus can be served by whatever chaplain. And that lack of understanding isn't in the atheist court.
If I understand you correctly, your objection is based on your belief that thiests just can't understand that thiests of different traditions hold different beliefs or they wouldn't know what those different beliefs are and be unable to discuss them?
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Old 16th August 2018, 05:18 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
If I understand you correctly, your objection is based on your belief that thiests just can't understand that thiests of different traditions hold different beliefs or they wouldn't know what those different beliefs are and be unable to discuss them?
Don't think so.

Roman Catholic soldier goes to the chaplain, wants to take holy communion, the chaplain is a buddhist priest.

A protestant soldier from NI a member of Paisley's congregation goes to the chaplain, the chaplain is a Roman Catholic priest.

What happens in the above scenarios?
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Old 16th August 2018, 11:42 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Don't think so.

Roman Catholic soldier goes to the chaplain, wants to take holy communion, the chaplain is a buddhist priest.

A protestant soldier from NI a member of Paisley's congregation goes to the chaplain, the chaplain is a Roman Catholic priest.

What happens in the above scenarios?
Typical ISF, always piling on the papists.
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Old 16th August 2018, 12:17 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Don't think so.

Roman Catholic soldier goes to the chaplain, wants to take holy communion, the chaplain is a buddhist priest.

A protestant soldier from NI a member of Paisley's congregation goes to the chaplain, the chaplain is a Roman Catholic priest.

What happens in the above scenarios?
In the first scenario, the soldier's CO gives him leave to attend mass and take communion (which may be officiated by a chaplain in the base chapel, or by a civilian priest in a nearby church), as the soldier's duties and the unit's operational situation permit. When I was in basic training, we always had the option to attend services according to our faith, even though the chaplain assigned to our training unit was not of all faiths to all soldiers.

In the second scenario, it depends why the Protestant is going to see the chaplain. But Protestant-to-Catholic isn't really a big deal. Those two strains of Christianity share much in common, and Christendom already has a strong tradition of ecumenicism to draw on.

Have you considered talking to actual chaplains about the challenges of their service, and how they handle them? Because right now it seems like a lot of the atheists in this thread are making up Just So Stories about the chaplaincy, in a proudly ignorant vacuum.
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Old 16th August 2018, 12:40 PM   #91
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Well if you just say so it must be true. Did you do any research before "answering" my question?
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Old 16th August 2018, 01:17 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Well if you just say so it must be true. Did you do any research before "answering" my question?
You mean, besides actually serving in the military? No.
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Old 16th August 2018, 01:39 PM   #93
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https://www.army.mil/chaplaincorps#org-resources
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Old 17th August 2018, 03:02 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You mean, besides actually serving in the military? No.
1) My scenarios where meant to help Mycroft understand Hans point.
2) You should research into the actual scenarios that I posted as they seem to be outside you experience, especially the second one.
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Old 19th August 2018, 02:01 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
1) My scenarios where meant to help Mycroft understand Hans point.
2) You should research into the actual scenarios that I posted as they seem to be outside you experience, especially the second one.
I understand his point, but I donít agree with it.

You and Hans think the entire focus should be on the differences among the many religions, reasoning that if some people think these differences are worth fighting over then it would be very difficult to have a Chaplain service that ministers to individual people of these different groups. But in the real world these peopleís donít fight that much and are more likely to cooperate with each other, especially in the pluralistic societies weíre speaking of.

Earlier I mentioned the mosque down the street that includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims in its membership. That same mosque also has outreach programs where they touch base with members of the non-Muslim community both on an individual level and with representatives of local synagogues and churches. The goal? To both encourage their membership to not be an insular community and also to help people from outside the Muslim community to see that, as a house of worship, itís very similar to what you would find in a church or synagogue.

Also, if youíre running a chaplain service, you have a lot of control over the culture that forms within that service. You would want to use that control to encourage cooperation and to discourage that which causes division and strife.
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Old 19th August 2018, 02:27 PM   #96
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health...ain-in-the-nhs

Quote:
The first humanist lead chaplain in the NHS

Lindsay van Dijk has become the first humanist lead chaplain in the NHS, after being appointed by Buckinghamshire NHS Trust.

Humanists UK want more humanist chaplains to follow in her footsteps.
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Old 20th August 2018, 12:15 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
If I understand you correctly, your objection is based on your belief that thiests just can't understand that thiests of different traditions hold different beliefs or they wouldn't know what those different beliefs are and be unable to discuss them?
Discuss them, sure. But we were not talking about a course in comparative religions. (Which already is something that is generally taken by folks who aren't very religious. Devout theists tend to be just rubbed the wrong way by them.) We were talking about COUNSELLING someone who has a mental breakdown wrapped in/as a crisis of faith. Which is a whole other thing.

Discussing how different the world view of Christians is, isn't going to address how the unjustness of war shakes my, say, Jain faith. The issue is how I reconcile things with MY faith -- which really is just one aspect of how I fix that cognitive dissonance -- not having a chat about the differences between my religion and his.

And to that end I propose that his being a disciple of another religion isn't helping at all. We can discuss the differences all we want, but they ARE there, and just knowing that his advice is based on a wildly different world view than what I'm trying to reconcile is not helping. In fact, I propose that it is poisoning the well a priori. I'm already expecting his advice to be based on the teachings of some prophet or god I consider to be false.
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:13 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Discuss them, sure. But we were not talking about a course in comparative religions. (Which already is something that is generally taken by folks who aren't very religious. Devout theists tend to be just rubbed the wrong way by them.)
Is it possible that your experience with "devout theists" is more internet kookery and less real world?

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
We were talking about COUNSELLING someone who has a mental breakdown wrapped in/as a crisis of faith. Which is a whole other thing.
Sounds like a referral to professional medical help. I think any chaplain of any religion can handle that.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Discussing how different the world view of Christians is, isn't going to address how the unjustness of war shakes my, say, Jain faith. The issue is how I reconcile things with MY faith -- which really is just one aspect of how I fix that cognitive dissonance -- not having a chat about the differences between my religion and his.

And to that end I propose that his being a disciple of another religion isn't helping at all. We can discuss the differences all we want, but they ARE there, and just knowing that his advice is based on a wildly different world view than what I'm trying to reconcile is not helping. In fact, I propose that it is poisoning the well a priori. I'm already expecting his advice to be based on the teachings of some prophet or god I consider to be false.
That person definitely needs a referral to a specialist in his own religion. Probably someone from outside the Chaplain corps.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 05:07 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Is it possible that your experience with "devout theists" is more internet kookery and less real world?
I wish it were, but I know a couple of real life nutcases. Hell, my brother married into a family of such, although his wife is an atheist, but her mom... oooer... that's the kind that gives the rest of religious fanatics a bad name.

And yeah, they don't DO religious comparison, unless it's "ours is right, everyone else is following the devil, and their religion demands that they rape and murder!!!"

(Actually, make that, suspiciously, only "MINE is right." Their god tends to be totally ok with whatever they do. At most, you know, he's testing them, but is still happy with how they're doing on the test. Everyone else having the slightest problem or conflict, ooer, that's God's punishment for their sins. And when I say "everyone else", I mean even the rest of their family, btw.)

Mind you, I didn't say all religious people are like that. There's a reason I added the "devout" qualifier. You can discuss the fine points of Norse religion with the sundays-maybe kind of xian, and hell, I've done it with muslims too, but get to the devout end and things tend to go sour fast.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 05:17 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Sounds like a referral to professional medical help. I think any chaplain of any religion can handle that.
And what I'm saying is that you can just have the professional medical help right there in the first place. Any army already has a medical corps. They can have a qualified psychiatrist right there.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 05:21 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I understand his point, but I donít agree with it.

You and Hans think the entire focus should be on the differences among the many religions,

...snip....
Nope you do not understand his point your post above demonstrates that.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 06:39 AM   #102
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I mentioned earlier in this thread that I had done research in the past in regards to a family matter regarding Chaplains in the military.

The reason for this was that there was a family story that one great Uncle had been forced on threat of disciplinary action to undertake a RC communion service when serving during the war. My family were devout primitive methodists and consider the RCC to be a terrible organisation, with idolatry, men putting themselves above other men and many other "sins". The idea of taking communion from a RC priest was abhorrent to him and at odds with his entire Christian beliefs. Now I'd always assumed the story was simply more fire to fuel that was the hatred my family and their co-religious had for the catholics so I looked into it.

And found such stories and other forced religious observance was in fact whilst not common also not that unusual.

Today I am sure no RC chaplain would be so insensitive and so righteous to force someone with different religious beliefs to attend his rituals.

But as Hans states the RC chaplain would be religiously useless as a chaplain for many folk, which was the scenario I posted when asking about soldier from Paisley's branch of Christianity and them having a RC chaplain.
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Old 28th August 2018, 10:25 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
In my experience this is not the case. I've had occasion to work with a number of Chaplains. I was a Senior NCO in a unit with a high deployment rate (average 270 to 300 days a year) and, on several deployments was acting First Sergeant. Chaplains work as the point of contact for family problems from back home. They did notifications, counseling and coordination with family services, Red Cross and aid agencies.

Religion was not normally a factor, save when it was felt best to have the right flavor of preacher for a particular function. In most cases I did not even know what denomination they were.
I was under the impression that the role of Chaplain was meant to be non-denominational or multi-denominational, if that's a thing. In effect, any chaplain of any faith could provide support to a soldier of any faith. I could be wrong, all I know about it I learned from Father Mulcahy
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Old 29th August 2018, 06:58 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by dadbodhisattva View Post
I was under the impression that the role of Chaplain was meant to be non-denominational or multi-denominational, if that's a thing. In effect, any chaplain of any faith could provide support to a soldier of any faith. I could be wrong, all I know about it I learned from Father Mulcahy
That's the way the U.S. military has it, although some chaplains have caused issues on this in the past. Some from the more evangelical denominations have argued that they should be able to proselytize. Most I've worked with are good, though, and if they can't help a soldier with a spiritual issue they're instrumental in finding someone who can (such as a chaplain of that soldier's faith, or a local spiritual leader or church).

ETA: Not a chaplain myself, mind you, but I was a medic, so we worked together with the Chaplains on a lot of things.
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Old 29th August 2018, 07:20 AM   #105
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Given the tremendous stigma (and potential career ending consequences) of openly discussing mental health, I imagine having a chaplain around to talk to is a good resource, even if they are of the "wrong" faith. I imagine a lot of these chaplains are doing more morale and psychological support than religious rites.
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Old 29th August 2018, 04:59 PM   #106
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But why do they need to be a chaplain? Wouldn't a trained counsellor or psychologist be more appropriate?
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Old 29th August 2018, 05:03 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But why do they need to be a chaplain? Wouldn't a trained counsellor or psychologist be more appropriate?
You're talking about applying the stigma, rather than giving troops a way to avoid it as they grapple with the personal and moral challenges of soldiering.
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Old 29th August 2018, 06:57 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You're talking about applying the stigma, rather than giving troops a way to avoid it as they grapple with the personal and moral challenges of soldiering.
Actually I didn't refer to the stigma at all, but still.

Does speaking with a chaplain about mental health carry less stigma than speaking to a trained psychologist about mental health?
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Old 29th August 2018, 08:47 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Actually I didn't refer to the stigma at all, but still.

Does speaking with a chaplain about mental health carry less stigma than speaking to a trained psychologist about mental health?
In the crowded conditions and schedules of a base (and more so on deployment) people will know when you have an appointment.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, conversations with Chaplains, or medical personnel, are private. One might talk to a Chaplain about any of a large range of topics (family problems, morale issues, concerns about others in the unit, psychological problems, and of course, religious issues), but a conversation with a mental health professional would only have a limited range.

So, talking to a Chaplain doesn't carry the same stigma.
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Old 29th August 2018, 09:04 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
In the crowded conditions and schedules of a base (and more so on deployment) people will know when you have an appointment.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, conversations with Chaplains, or medical personnel, are private. One might talk to a Chaplain about any of a large range of topics (family problems, morale issues, concerns about others in the unit, psychological problems, and of course, religious issues), but a conversation with a mental health professional would only have a limited range.
Why? Apart from religious issues - which properly trained counsellors should be able to deal with anyway unless they are specifically pastoral (eg, eucharist or confession or similar which aren't mental health issues and aren't what I'm talking about) - it seems to me that talking to a counsellor would be functionally identical to talking with a chaplain, with the additional benefit that chaplains may not be specifically trained in mental health care, whereas counsellors and psychologists are.

Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
So, talking to a Chaplain doesn't carry the same stigma.
Seems to me that in order to deal with the stigma, you're forcing people to go to less-appropriately-trained people.

What's needed is to accept that mental health care is a necessary part of the well-being of soldiers - because it absolutely is - and provide appropriate care by making appropriately trained mental health professionals available. Soldiers may also need access to pastoral care for their religious needs, but that's a separate issue. Lumping mental health care into the duties of religious chaplains does a disservice to both the chaplains and the soldiers that they need to care for.

There is, of course, no reason why a chaplain can't be appropriately trained in mental health care, but I don't get the impression that that is happening. If I'm wrong about that, and chaplains are routinely trained as mental health care providers as well as providers of pastoral services, then I'll be happy to accept a correction.
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Old 29th August 2018, 09:20 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What's needed is to accept that mental health care is a necessary part of the well-being of soldiers - because it absolutely is - and provide appropriate care by making appropriately trained mental health professionals available.

If I'm wrong about that, and chaplains are routinely trained as mental health care providers as well as providers of pastoral services, then I'll be happy to accept a correction.
The first part (acceptance) will require a change in the society from which we draw our recruits. That's outside my AOR. The second (provision of qualified mental health professionals) has been dealt with. There are some great mental health folks in the services. Any troop can see them as needed, but some are reluctant to self identify as having mental or emotional problems, so are more comfortable talking to the Chaplains.

Chaplains are trained in counseling, and in recognition of mental problems requiring referral to specialists. (Actually a lot of us have had training in that, one of an NCOs most important jobs is counseling, and, for those deploying to combat environments, psychological first aid.)
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Old 29th August 2018, 09:28 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
The first part (acceptance) will require a change in the society from which we draw our recruits. That's outside my AOR. The second (provision of qualified mental health professionals) has been dealt with. There are some great mental health folks in the services. Any troop can see them as needed, but some are reluctant to self identify as having mental or emotional problems, so are more comfortable talking to the Chaplains.

Chaplains are trained in counseling, and in recognition of mental problems requiring referral to specialists. (Actually a lot of us have had training in that, one of an NCOs most important jobs is counseling, and, for those deploying to combat environments, psychological first aid.)
Okay, that's fair enough. And I completely agree that addressing the stigma requires a wholesale change in societal attitudes towards mental health. I'm actually quite close to someone who is active in this very subject, so maybe I'm a little bit touchy where that's concerned.
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Old 29th August 2018, 09:41 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Okay, that's fair enough. And I completely agree that addressing the stigma requires a wholesale change in societal attitudes towards mental health. I'm actually quite close to someone who is active in this very subject, so maybe I'm a little bit touchy where that's concerned.
I agree, there should be no shame in seeking help, but that's not the situation we have now. While working to change the future is good, we still have to deal with the problems we have now.
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Old 29th August 2018, 09:52 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
I agree, there should be no shame in seeking help, but that's not the situation we have now. While working to change the future is good, we still have to deal with the problems we have now.
Indeed. And since as you say, chaplains are routinely trained in mental health care to such an extent as is necessary, then I withdraw that line of argument.

But isn't an atheist chaplain then just simply a counsellor? Since they can do all the things that chaplains can do except provide pastoral services for religious personnel? Why call them chaplains?
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Old 30th August 2018, 05:07 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Indeed. And since as you say, chaplains are routinely trained in mental health care to such an extent as is necessary, then I withdraw that line of argument.

But isn't an atheist chaplain then just simply a counsellor? Since they can do all the things that chaplains can do except provide pastoral services for religious personnel? Why call them chaplains?
historical inertia
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Old 30th August 2018, 05:41 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
historical inertia
And the stigma avoidance mentioned earlier. We're silly creatures, all in all.

Besides, there are atheist religions, such as spiritual humanism. Probably others I can't recall or haven't heard of
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