On Sept. 11, student group Duke Milites Christi will host a panel discussion on the church’s response to the rising rate of military suicide in America.
The event, which comes during National Suicide Prevention Week, will explore strategies employed by health professionals and clergy to address increasing military suicide rates. According to a study by the Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
Milites Christi leaders Alexis Arzuaga-Morales and Todd Lovell are calling on churches and clergy to fill what they see as a widening gap between U.S. military and churches in the U.S. “I'm troubled that the contemporary church in America has largely outsourced its care for military and veterans to secular institutions,” said Lovell. “The church has always possessed powerful practices and appropriate language for dealing with veterans and their concerns. Unfortunately, the American church by and large has lost the ability to speak this language.”
Speakers will be Dr. Warren Kinghorn, assistant professor of psychiatry and pastoral and moral theology; Associate Professor of Christian Ethics Amy Laura Hall; Heather Rodrigues, pastor at Duke Memorial UMC; John Oliver, chief of chaplain service at the Durham VA Medical Center; and Matthew Floding, director of ministerial formation and field education at the Divinity School.
Lunch will be provided during the event, and a Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.