Friday, April 20, 2012

VA to Beef Up Mental Health Staffing at VA Medical Centers

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday that it plans to hire an additional 1,900 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other mental health care staff in order to reduce long wait times for services at many veterans medical centers. The New York Times reported today that the hiring would increase the department’s mental health staff by nearly 10 percent at a time when the veterans health system is being overwhelmed not just by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but also by aging veterans from the Vietnam era.

Commenting on the need for the new positions, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said, "Too often we have seen staff vacancies, scheduling delays, and red tape leave those veterans who have been brave enough to seek help in the first place left with nowhere to turn."

For extensive reporting about veterans’ mental health issues see Psychiatric News here and here.
(Image: Straight 8 Photography/


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