Dr. Anna in recent years has welcomed a new type of care provider to her VA clinical psychology practice: peer support specialists. These Veterans use their experience in military service to treat other Veterans diagnosed with mental health issues.

Dr. Anna chooses to serve as a clinical psychologist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in part because it gives her the flexibility to bring this type of specialty care to her patients.

“We have a tremendous amount of autonomy in terms of deciding how much care someone needs and being able to do our best to provide that,” Dr. Anna says in a video. “I’m working with several peer support specialists who’ve come on board, which is a really unique aspect to provide great mental health care to our Veterans.”

Choose VA to put the patient at the center of care

Dr. Anna first came to VA during her training. She now serves alongside primary care physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses and other healthcare providers as part of the Veteran-centered care team VA creates for all patients.

VA was an early adopter of this collaborative approach to mental health care. In this model, Veterans and providers from many fields can work together to decide the best treatment options.

“VA is really a leader in terms of providing mental health services,” Dr. Anna says. “Every day I’m routinely in contact with social workers, nursing, psychiatry and Veterans’ primary care providers. And (I) can connect with other providers within the VA system to really provide that continuity of care.”

Training the next generation

As the psychology training director, Dr. Anna works closely with peer specialists and others on the care team to encourage innovation in recovery and rehabilitation services at VA.

“I know that those people who I’m mentoring and supervising are going to have those skills to give back to other people,” she says.

Choose VA today

Dr. Anna chooses to serve as a clinical psychologist at VA for its embrace of patient-centered care and the ability to train the next generation of providers.

See if a VA career in mental health is the right choice for you too.

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Published on Nov. 15, 2018

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 160

One Comment

  1. Richard G Kensinger November 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    I am a BHC clinician w/ over 40 years and I research the impact of combat trauma. I have spoken to combat vets from Korea to the current conflicts. I also served as an AF medic from 1969 to 1973. In terms of triage those directly exposed to repeated combat require consistent and persisting care. Many experience TBI, SUD and PTSD. Object constancy of clinical staff is extremely important; and I find extended group therapy t be a pertinent intervention as it recapitulates the essential military unit- the squad.
    I have 3 published articles in this regard on Brain Blogger.

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