Ch. Bill Cantrell, “Caring for Veterans After War”

The Reverend Bill Cantrell is Chief Chaplain for VA Mental Health and Chaplaincy in the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in Durham, North Carolina.  Chaplain Cantrell has a broad range of experience as a parish priest, Navy chaplain, President/CEO of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and most recently extensive work at Naval Medical Center San Diego working with PTSD patients in cooperation with Mental Health Services. In 1989 Fr. Cantrell completed his theological education at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin.  He was ordained priest December 5, 1989 and entered active duty as a Navy Chaplain in 1995, completing chaplain school and deploying on board the USS Hue City CG-66 for six months supporting Desert Shield in the Arabian Gulf. Although he was released from active duty in 1997, he has since been recalled twice to active duty, including to the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2005 with 3rd Marine Air Wing. Ch. Cantrell has developed and facilitated group spirituality sessions for PTSD treatment programs for active duty service members. Chaplain Cantrell’s present work examines the relationship between spirituality and health, the roles of VA and military chaplains and their integration into Mental Health Services in order to meet the spiritual healing that so many veterans are seeking or need.