Veterans’ mental health has long been a focus at VA — as far back as 1941, when we opened our first lab dedicated to researching neuropsychiatric disorders.

We know treating the minds of our nation’s heroes is just as important as treating their bodies, so today we continue our tradition of research and focus on Veteran mental health.

“This Mental Health Month, we celebrate VA professionals who have made groundbreaking discoveries that benefit the mental health of the nation’s Veterans every day,” said Darren Sherrard, associate director of recruitment marketing at VA. “We are always looking for qualified professionals to join our team who want to help improve the lives of Veterans through innovative mental health care.”

Groundbreaking research

In the past few decades, VA researchers have made important breakthroughs in the mental health field, such as locating a gene associated with schizophrenia and identifying gray matter loss common in several psychiatric disorders.

Today, they are always on the lookout for new approaches to treat and prevent mental health disorders. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research is a high priority and no more so than at our National Center for PTSD. As the world’s leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress, it synthesizes VA and external scientific research to promote better understanding, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. Other current research focuses at VA include mood disorders, the co-occurrence of mental health issues and physical disorders, and more.

We also operate more than 20 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) and other centers of excellence and innovation throughout the country. Here, we research the causes and treatments of mental disorders and put this knowledge into practice in VA.

Beyond research, we also develop and evaluate collaborative primary care models and have greatly expanded access to mental health services through telehealth.

Discover a rewarding career

If you’d like to work on the forefront of mental health research and practice, consider a career at VA.

We’ve demonstrated our commitment to mental health by hiring nearly 4,000 mental health practitioners since 2017.

It’s more than just a job — it’s a deeply rewarding mission to give back to those who have served. We take a holistic approach to care, so you’ll be a vital part of our patient care team.

We offer competitive compensation for mental health professionals, generous leave policy and free liability coverage. Other perks of a VA career include:

  • Higher education support
  • Flexible work schedules and shifts.
  • Diversity and inclusion policies and programs.
  • Low patient-provider ratios.
  • Career training and enhancement opportunities.
  • Dining options and a tax-free retail store.
  • A smoke/drug-free workplace.

Work at VA

By growing our team of practitioners and researchers, we can provide more Veterans with access to lifesaving, high-quality care and continue our success in mental health research. Consider choosing VA for your mental health career.

  • DISCOVER what a career in mental health looks like at VA.
  • EXPLORE VA careers at
  • LEARN more about the benefits of a VA career.

Share this story

Published on May. 12, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.5 min.

Views to date: 292

More Stories

  • As an experienced professional, do you know what you want from your next career? When you begin your job search, consider these important points.

  • PTSD Bytes: Host Pearl McGee-Vincent discusses PTSD and relationships with Dr. Leslie Morland and Dr. Kayla Knopp, clinical and research psychologists.

  • Join our recruiters for three events this October and learn what a career at VA has to offer.