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.


 
 

 

Reaching goal early, VA/DOD Online service tops 5 million users

Participation in the joint Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense Department eBenefits website topped 5 million users this week, two months ahead of schedule, officials said. VA officials said they established an agency priority goal of reaching 5 million eBenefits users by the end of fiscal year 2015, and achieved this early milestone through aggressive...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Veterans remember Gulf War 25 years later

Courtesy photograph Command Sgt. Maj. Robert G. Nichols, now retired, deployed to the Middle East with 1st Brigade in 1990. Nichols played a major role in the largest air assault in history that secured Forward Operating Base C...
 
 

Soldier missing from Vietnam War accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Aug. 21 that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be buried with full military honors. Army Maj. Dale W. Richardson of Mount Sterling, Ill., will be buried Aug. 29, in Mountain View, Ark. Richardson was assigned to 2nd...
 

 
cmsaf-funeral9

Ninth CMSAF laid to rest

Air Force photograph by SrA. Preston Webb Members of the Old Guard escort the ninth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James C. Binnicker to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Binnicker passed away March 2...
 
 

VA announces new rules regarding service animals in VA facilities

Aug. 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility...
 
 

World War II airman’s remains identified

The remains of a serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors, said the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in a DOD news release issued Aug. 6. U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stephen V. Biezis of Chicago, will be buried Aug....
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>