The Volunteers of America

The Volunteers of America will receive $918,443 over 2 years to design and pilot the Spiritual Resiliency Training Program to support veteran’s recovery from moral injury via a peer-facilitated, multi-dimensional group process. 

Need

Moral injury indicates damage to core belief systems, and manifests with unique psycho-spiritual negative moral emotions such as guilt, shame, despair, grief, remorse, alienation, betrayal, blame, self-condemnation, and outrage against leaders or self. Since 2009, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mental health experts have become increasingly aware that moral injury has been confused with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a result, a significant driver of morbidity and mortality among military veterans has not been addressed.

Project

The Volunteers of America Spiritual Resiliency Training (SRT) program is designed to support recovery from moral injury through a prevention-based approach to veteran well-being employing a peer leadership system, a military squad model of trust and bonding, and complementary alternative therapy strategies, such as mindfulness and the arts, to enhance recommended protocols and to reinforce integrative skills for emotional stability. The SRT strategies focus on confronting moral suffering, exploring forgiveness and gratitude, restoring meaning or faith and purpose to life, increasing self-acceptance and awareness of each person’s core humanity, and civic engagement through public service.

Project Leader

Rita Brock, RBrock@voa.org