Tucson â€” The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed an aggressive national mental health hiring initiative to improve recruitment and hiring, marketing, education and training programs, and retention efforts for mental health professionals.
To speed the national hiring process, VA developed the Mental Health Hiring Initiative, a multi-faceted, sustained national marketing and outreach campaign that includes targeted recruitment of mental health providers willing to take positions throughout the country, including in rural and highly rural markets, to serve all VA medical centers and community clinics.
VA has an existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff that includes nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. Currently, 150 mental health care clinicians and support staff work locally supporting the southern Arizona Veterans.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki noted that â€œas the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to anticipate the needs of returning veterans.â€
The team at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System is already treating veterans through individualized care, readjustment counseling and immediate crisis services.
The initiative will help VA to meet existing and future demands of mental health care services in an integrated collaborative team environment and continue to position VA as a desirable workplace for mental health care professionals.
â€œMental health services must be closely aligned with veteransâ€™ needs and fully integrated with health care facility operations.â€ said VA Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Robert Petzel. â€œImproving access to mental health services will help support the current and future veterans who depend on VA for these vital services.â€
To locate the nearest VA facility or Vet Center for enrollment and to get scheduled for care, veterans can visit VAâ€™s website at www.va.gov. Immediate help is available at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or by calling the Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.