Study Will Examine ‘Moral Injury’ as Key Factor in Military Suicide Epidemic

Brite Divinity School Wins Grant to Study ‘Moral Injury’ Among Combat Veterans

Bruce Tomaso
Dallas Morning News, April 17, 2012

Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth has received a $650,000 private grant to help U.S. combat veterans overcome “moral injury” and to train communities to support recovery efforts.

Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth will study the link between 'moral injury' and military suicide. Many mental health providers have come to believe moral injury is always present in war and is unavoidable. The above photo shows US troops dragging the body of a dead Viet Cong fighter during the Vietnam war in December 1966. (Kyoichi Sawada-UPI)

A news release about the grant, which comes from the Lilly Endowment, is after the jump.

The Soul Repair Project will begin in June. A conference on the subject is planned for November.

“Veteran suicide rates are alarmingly high, and we believe one important factor is the neglect of attention to moral injury,” the people behind the project, Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini, say in the news release.

Nakashima Brock is on the Brite faculty. Lettini is academic dean of the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif.

The two are co-authors of a book due out in November, Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War.

They said “moral injury” is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder. The latter is a clinically recognized psychological affliction; the former “is the response of healthy people to war, not a psychological disorder.”

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2 Responses

  1. When American kids, barely out of high school, do stuff to civilian men,women,and children in Mosul and Kandahar that would put them in prison for life, if done in Denver or Des Moines,it’s hard to forget

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