HOW OFTEN DO NAVY CHAPLAINS GET DEPLOYED?
By Buddy Blouin
It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint just how often Navy Chaplains are deployed. We do know that being deployed comes with the territory of being a part of the military and even though Chaplains are in a noncombatant role, they still serve all over the world. The focus of their role in the military is to help troops of all faiths have a counselor in the good and the bad, while also protecting religious freedoms and accommodations. Now, there is a specific focus to deploy more Chaplains specific to suicide to help reduce the number of Sailors that take their own lives. The Navy Is Deploying More Chaplains Specific to Suicide Navy Chaplain deployment is looking to become more common as the branch is trying to combat disturbing suicide trends. The goal of deploying a Chaplain specific to suicide for Sailors is to help them better navigate mental health issues and prevent suicides at a more effective rate. Making Chaplain suicide resources on more ships by deploying them as regular Sailors will not only provide other Sailors with a resource but allow for the genuine building of relationships. Chaplain suicide confidentiality will apply and regardless of faith, these individuals are there for Sailors for a variety of mental health and faith-based needs. The trend of reaching out to persons of faith for help with mental health has been ongoing far beyond the military. It’s becoming more common, particularly for men that are under the age of 29, to reach out for such counseling on campuses around the country. But deployment and Navy Chaplain confidentiality for suicidal Sailors can only be part of the equation. What is clear, is that solving mental health issues within a military environment comes with unique, complex challenges. An objective of the deployments included helping Sailors manage life stress and mental illness through care. What Will a Chaplain Do if You’re Suicidal? The first thing you should know is that when it comes to suicide counseling, Chaplains offer complete confidentiality. This is not exclusive to a particular branch but extends to the services that these important individuals play throughout the entirety of the American Armed Forces. All roles may have troops wearing multiple hats at once, but the role of the Chaplain can often become diluted. There is a lot more than holding a prayer or a church service that goes into the position, as important as those functions may also be. Helping troops with their mental health continues to be a growing focus and Chaplains are there for just that. Whether it be someone to talk with, someone just to listen, or active counseling, even in your home life, they do it all. The end goal when you talk to a Chaplain about suicide or any other issue is to help you receive sound advice and actionable methods for dealing with the dark times in your life. If you are in need of mental health assistance, reach out to your unit’s Chaplin, or, feel free to contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988 any time, any day, and at any hour. You can also chat online. The Hope Is for an Increase in Navy Chaplain Deployment, Decrease in Sailor Suicides As the U.S. Navy continues deploying more Chaplains for suicide prevention, only time will tell of the results. The topic of suicide and Chaplains are important because Sailors need viable resources for what can be a hard life. There are common negative mental health issues many faces inside and outside of the Navy, but there are also specific issues including trying to find purpose in the branch, the living conditions of being on a ship, isolation when deployed, and more. Furthermore, the fact that ships were without dedicated Chaplains looks to be an immediate issue for the branch to fix. Negative mental health has various repercussions in the military that can put the lives of others in danger as a result. But ultimately, each individual suicide is a tragedy in and of itself. How often Navy Chaplains deploy may be increasing, but in the end, the hope is that the move will save the lives of those serving the United States.
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