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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Mental Health and Chaplaincy Gap Analysis Services

This project aimed to improve mental health care for veterans and military service members by enhancing integration between chaplains and mental health professionals in programs and facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The initiative involved a gap analysis to identify how chaplains and mental health professionals can optimally coordinate their services to promote care that is consistent with the values and preferences of veterans and to develop strategies to reach this goal.

The Public Policy Center performed site visits at VA/DoD facilities across the country and conducted interviews with chaplains, mental health professionals and command leadership. Center staff then reviewed and analyzed survey data and written documentation.

This analysis sought to define, and ultimately address, the discrepancy between the existing state of chaplains’ participation in mental health care in VA/DoD programs and the desired state of integrated mental health care that optimizes chaplain participation.

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