Federal Daily News
VA to hire more mental health staff
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will bolster its mental health staff by adding about 1,600 clinicians, including nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and approximately 300 support staff.
VA said its ongoing review of its mental health operations indicated that additional staff are needed at some VA facilities. VA mental health staff currently stands at about 20,950 employees.
“As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning veterans,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stated in an April 19 release announcing the move. “As more veterans return home, we must ensure that all veterans have access to quality mental health care.”
VA said the new staff will help support outpatient mental health services and VA’s Veterans Crisis Line, as well as aid in addressing an expected increase in compensation and pension/integrated disability evaluation system exams.
The department said it will begin recruitment immediately.