Veterans

June 5, 2013

VA hires more than 1,600 mental health professionals to meet goal

Expands access to care, outreach efforts, directs nationwide community mental health summits

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced June 3 that it has met the goal to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in President Obamaís Aug. 31, 2012, Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families.

ìMeeting this hiring milestone significantly enhances our ability to improve access to care for those Veterans seeking mental health services and demonstrates our continued commitment to the health and well-being of the men and women who have served the Nation,î said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.

Shinseki. ìMeeting this goal is an important achievement, but we recognize that we must continue to increase access to the quality mental health care Veterans have earned and deserve.

As of May 31, 2013, the VA has hired a total of 1,607 mental health clinical providers to meet the goal of 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in the Executive Order. Additionally, VA has hired 2,005 mental health clinical providers to fill existing vacancies.†† VA has also hired 318 new peer specialists towards the specific goal of 800 peer specialists by Dec. 31, 2013, as outlined in the Executive Order.
VA expects to meet that goal as well.

VA also recognizes that meeting the needs of Veterans and their families requires collaboration and partnership between VA, other federal agencies, and local communities. ìLocally-driven summits provide a well-established method to strengthen our community partnerships, and they have been successful in support of VAís goal to end homelessness among Veterans,î said Veterans Health Administration, Undersecretary for Health, Dr. Robert Petzel.† ìThe President is directing all VA health care systems nationwide to conduct locally-driven Mental Health Summits to further engage with local community partners and nurture community engagement to address the broad mental health needs of Veterans and their families.î Each VA health care system will reach out to relevant Veteran Service Organizations, community based organizations, health care providers, and local governments to develop and conduct the summits.

The VA provides a full range of comprehensive mental health services across the country. In Fiscal Year 2012, more than 1.3 million Veterans received specialized mental health care from the VA.† This number has risen each year from 927,052 in Fiscal Year 2006. In addition to hiring more mental health professionals, VA is expanding the use of innovative technology to serve Veterans in rural or underserved areas. VA expects to increase the number of Veterans receiving care from tele-mental health services in fiscal year 2013, and has increased the number of Vet Centers, which provide readjustment counseling and referral services from 233 in 2008 to 300 in 2012.

In November 2011, the VA launched an award-winning, national public awareness campaign called Make the Connection, which is aimed at reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health care and informing Veterans, their families, friends, and members of their communities about VA resources.† More information on Make the Connection can be found at www.maketheconnection.net.

Mental health professionals interested in seeking employment with the Department of Veterans Affairs can obtain information at www.vacareers.va.gov.† Veterans and their families interested in learning more about the mental health services provided by VA can go to www.mentalhealth.va.gov.




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

VA announces awardees of grants that support disabled veterans in adaptive Sports

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced Sept. 29 the award of approximately $8 million in grants to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled veterans and disabled service members of the Armed Forces. Adaptive sports are those sports that have been created or modified for persons with disabilities. Partnering with national, regional, and community-based...
 
 
Air Force photograph by John Turner

WWII Airman lost in Pacific brought home to Montana after 70 year wait

Air Force graphic by Robert Stillwell First Lt. William D. Bernier, of Augusta, Mont., was reported missing April 10, 1944, when his B-24D Liberator was shot down over New Guinea while attacking a Japanese-held port. Bernier wa...
 

 

VA updates disability claims application

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Sept. 24 that it is introducing a uniformed disability claims form to better serve veterans, families and survivors. Standardizing the process by which veterans file claims and initiate appeals will make it easier for veterans and their survivors to clearly state what benefits they are seeking from VA and...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Mercedes Crossland

POW/MIA: Daughter of missing Vietnam-era pilot shares story of loss

Courtesy photograph Air Force Capt. Kelly Cook, left, a pilot who flew early generation fighter bombers, shakes the hand of another officer circa 1950s. Cook was a member of the Iowa Air National Guard when he was called to act...
 
 

Soldier missing from World War II accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Sept. 10 that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Army Pfc. Bernard Gavrin of Brooklyn, New York, was buried Sept. 12, in Arlington National Cemetery. On...
 




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>