Role of Spirituality in Suicide Prevention and Enhancing Workforce Health: A Military Leader’s Dilemma


This case study, based on a real series of events with some details altered, considers the role military chaplains play in preventing suicide among service members. It presents a situation in which a chaplain disclosed, in a classroom setting, personal information about how his faith helped him cope with his own depression. A complaint was issued to the chaplain’s commanding officer calling for disciplinary action, on the basis that the chaplain had failed to properly balance his assignment in the military with his personal beliefs. The case asks students to consider what disciplinary action, if any, the commanding officer should take. Students will discuss how—in a time when chaplains are being increasingly called on to provide spiritual comfort and direction to service members (Hourani et al., 2012)—they should also act in ways that respect the rights of the diverse population they serve. An overview of government suicide prevention efforts is presented, as are legal and practical considerations chaplains and military leaders must be aware of in this effort. Additionally, the relationship between spirituality and suicide prevention is discussed, as are the regulations chaplains follow in providing resources to help soldiers grow spiritually. To provide context and to highlight the special workplace health needs of military personnel, background information is provided on attending to spirituality within the public-sector workforce, and “workplace spirituality” in a wide range of organizations.

You are not authorized to view Teaching Notes. Please contact your librarian for access or sign in to your existing instructor profile.
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles