US Navy Deploys More Chaplains For Suicide Prevention
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Virginia. (AP) — Concerned with preventing growing numbers of suicides, the US Navy is planning to make chaplains regular members of the crew on ships with more than 300 sailors, instead of only the largest carriers as in the past.
The goal is for chaplains – who are both clergy in different denominations and naval officers – to connect with sailors, believers and non-believers alike, as life coaches.
Complete confidentiality protects all their conversations, making them a relief valve for young sailors especially who are struggling with mental health and lack the usual coping mechanisms of online communication while at sea.
Depression and anxiety have marked many young adults, especially post-pandemic, but struggles in the military carry unique challenges and security implications.