The North Carolina Soul Repair conference took place March 6 and 7. It was sponsored by many faith communities, including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina, Quaker House, and the North Carolina Council of Churches. Speakers included VA clinicians, chaplains and staff, and Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, co-director of the Soul Repair Center, as well as Col. Kimberly Olson (founder of Grace after Fire).
A suggestion to churches was to embrace a more welcoming atmosphere for veterans suffering after returning from war. But the number one gift churches and members can offer is to listen with compassion. Church folks can give the gift of presence. Vets need to tell their stories over and over again for healing to take place. Faith communities should ask what help is needed.
Some local resources are available. They include:
- Quaker House at its GI Rights Hotline 877-447-448, at 919-663-7122 or online.
- Behavioral Health Services for Wake, Cumberland, Johnston and Durham County residents at 1-800-510-9132.
- The VA chaplain at 919-286-6867.
Visit the Soul Repair website for additional resources.