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United States Department  of Veterans Affairs


God Understands

Follow eight stories of real Veterans who worked through difficult spiritual struggles and came out stronger as a result. Learn more»

"Spirituality" is often defined as a sense of connection that gives meaning and purpose to a person’s life. Any kind of illness or stressful event can affect how you see the world and others in it. In these situations, you might begin to question your long–held personal beliefs and values. You also might have concerns about your relationships with others. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is concerned about you as a whole person. VA is committed to offering spiritual care as part of your treatment, if it is something you want. This Spirituality Center might help you decide if you want spiritual care from a VA chaplain. It may also assist you in thinking about your current beliefs, values and relationships. We also hope it will encourage you, inspire you and renew your spirit.

Throughout the Spirituality Center, you will find ideas and activities that others say have given them strength, courage and hope. You may like and benefit from trying some of them. You might decide that others are simply not for you at all. That is OK. This center has been developed for a very wide variety of people, faith groups and beliefs. We hope that you will consider all of it and only adapt what you feel may improve your overall health, sense of balance and wholeness.

Resources in the Spirituality Center may not meet your spiritual needs. A VA chaplain, can assist you in locating other spiritual resources. For example, this would include things like finding: a support group, educational program, a house of worship, or other resources that are more likely to meet your needs.

The following link will allow you to Learn More about the spiritual needs of Afghan and Iraqi Veterans and their families. Clergy, family members of Veterans, other caregivers, lay people from the spiritual communities may want to visit this page.

Getting Started

Get Ready: Benefits of change, how to start healthy living, and special situations

Self Management: Understand and track your progress through use of various health tools

Support and Encouragement: How a VA chaplain, local clergy, family and friends can support healthy living

Caregiver Information: Caregiver resources and when to get additional help

Related Topics: Body, mind and spirit connections

A list of terms is available to define the meaning of words underlined in the text.

If you are a Veteran and have questions or concerns about spiritual issues, please contact a VA chaplain. Please enter your zip code or click on your state to find the VA Medical Center (not a benefits office or outpatient clinic, etc.) nearest you. When you call the main number for the medical center, ask the operators to direct your call to Chaplain Service.

Reviewed/Updated Date: September, 2012
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsor: Dr. Jeni Cook
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Keith Ethridge, Dr. Michael Pollitt
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Dr. Pam Hebert

Tip of the Day

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Feel better! If you are experiencing mild depression or anxiety, aerobic workouts such as walking or jogging can significantly improve your mood. Non-aerobic exercise, like weight lifting, can also boost your spirits, improve sleep and appetite, reduce irritability and anger and produce feelings of accomplishment. Be sure to check with your Health Care Provider before you start any new exercise program.

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