Last year, VA pledged to add 1600 mental health clinicians and 300 support staff, an increase of about 10 percent, in order to better serve the needs of Veterans (and cut down on wait times). And earlier today, we announced progress on that front:

As of Jan. 29, VA has hired 1,058 mental health clinical providers and 223 administrative support staff in support of this specific goal.

“We aren’t slowing down our efforts even after these initial positive results,” said Shinseki. “We still need to hire more mental health professionals in order to reach our goal, but each new hire means we can treat more Veterans and provide greater access to our mental health services.”

Be sure to check out the release for more on the push for more mental health care workers.

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Published on Feb. 11, 2013

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  1. Mic Jagger February 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Why was there a seeming ignoring of the substance use disorder/co-occurring disorder, need? It looks like everything was added (up to triple?) to PTSD, Homeless services, & PTSD services in the last 2 years while completely ignoring the one clinic that had the biggest longest lasting wait period for service; and while apparently seeming to ignore that the primary problem with homeless and PTSD Vets involves substance abuse as perhaps the most pervasive hinderence to recovery. Did anyone factor in specific area data before the dicatate for hire?

  2. penny ackerson February 13, 2013 at 6:35 am

    What a JOKE!!!!! Are you serious? I live in Iowa, my husband was a vietnam vet. The key word is was.He passed away 12/23/12,after being ill from service connected ailments for the last 7 yrs.Telling one mental health worker after another that he wanted to die. No one would do anything about it.No help with his drinking problem,nothing. I’ve never been so frustrated with the VA. Thur out the last few yrs. nothing I did mattered.Finally after 1 yr. of drinking 7 days a week,he died when his liver finally shut down, within 6 wks. he was gone. Telling all his drs. he was gonna drink himself to death did nothing, they just ignored him. Now they don’t have to anymore.The VA can say what they like about getting more help for vets with mental health problems, but as long as you are an old vet forget it. THEY DONT CARE AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! penny ackerson

  3. Dan F February 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    What a joke. I just was on the phone with my Vet Center counselor. He said his case load is expanding to where I will now only be able to have a session once every three weeks. He tells me that he now has couples counseling and active duty personnel are soon to be helped.

    Where are all these MH professionals? Did you put them in VA hospitals? I hope so, the last three psychiatrists at my current VA quit (a priod of three years). Also, I am wondering if the Wilkes-Barre VA now has a Board Certified Psychiatrist running the department? As of about a year ago, she wasn’t.

    I wish the VA would stop attempting to tell the vet population what a great job they are doing, when in actuality, if you were a private business you would be run out of town on the rails.

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