Veterans

April 22, 2012

VA increases mental health care workforce

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will add approximately 1,600 clinicians – to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers – as well as nearly 300 support staff, to its existing mental health workforce of 20,590, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced April 19.

The staff increase is part of an ongoing review of the VA’s mental health care operations, Shinseki said.

“As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning veterans,” he said. “History shows that the costs of war will continue to grow for a decade or more after the operational missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended. As more veterans return home, we must ensure that all veterans have access to quality mental health care.”

VA’s ongoing comprehensive review of mental health operations has indicated that some VA facilities require more mental health staff to serve the growing needs of veterans, officials said. . It projected the need for the 1,900 additional mental health staff largely because of increasing needs for the Veterans Crisis Line, as well as an expected increase in compensation and pension and integrated disability evaluation exams.

“Mental health services must be closely aligned with veterans’ needs and fully integrated with health care facility operations,” VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel said. “Improving access to mental health services will help support the current and future veterans who depend on VA for these vital services.”

VA will allocate funds this month from the current budget to all 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks across the country to begin recruitment immediately. Under the leadership of President Barack Obama and Secretary Shinseki, officials said, VA has devoted more people, programs, and resources toward mental health services to serve the growing number of veterans seeking mental health care from VA.

Last year, VA provided specialty mental health services to 1.3 million veterans, officials said. Since 2009, VA has increased its mental health care budget by 39 percent and has seen a similar increase in the number of veterans receiving mental health services, as well as a 41-percent increase in mental health staff.

VA has enhanced services through the integration of mental health care into the primary care setting, developing an extensive suicide prevention program, and increasing the number of Veterans Readjustment Counseling Centers. VA’s Veteran Crisis Line has received more than 600,000 calls, resulting in more than 21,000 rescues of veterans in immediate crisis.

“The mental health of America’s veterans not only touches those of us at VA and the Department of Defense, but also families, friends, co-workers, and people in our communities,” Petzel said. “We ask that you urge veterans in your communities to reach out and connect with VA services.”

Veterans in need of immediate help can receive assistance by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>