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Moral Injury 101

Moral Injury 101

August 22, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm CDT

In this month’s EmpowerEd session, we are tackling the complex subject of moral injury. At our core, we all have our own intrinsic level of personal morality. An event or decision that may be “ok” for one person, may be traumatic for the next. Within high-stress or dangerous career fields, this can be difficult to navigate. In the military, our service members follow The Rules of Engagement to maintain a moral baseline for combat engagement and failure to follow the rules may result in a war crime. This is an extreme example, but our service members may find themselves facing difficult moral dilemmas, which can often be tied to a traumatic event. How the service member interprets and is impacted by the trauma may result in a moral injury, PTSD, or both, and it can be difficult to tease these out when it comes to managing the injury, seeking treatment, or supporting your loved one.

To help cast a light on the topic of moral injury, we welcome back Dr. Lataya Hawkins! Dr. Hawkins received her doctorate from the University of Texas Steve Hicks School of Social Work in 2021 with her dissertation on Moral Injury. Her areas of research cover moral injury and moral distress and its impact on service members and healthcare providers. She is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience and has served in various clinical and leadership positions in the civilian sector and in the U.S. Army.

Her presentation will answer some basic questions about moral injury:

1. What is moral injury?

2. How does moral injury differ from PTSD?

3. What treatments help address a moral injury?

4. What are the recommendations for living with a veteran or service member with moral Injury?

5. How can mental health providers work with religious leaders on cases of moral injury?