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Health Agencies Update
May 23/30, 2012

VA Reinforces Mental Health

JAMA. 2012;307(20):2139. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.4770

To meet the increasing needs for services by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is hiring nearly 1600 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, as well as about 300 support staff, the department announced in April.

The increased staffing, which will boost the existing 20 590 mental health work force by nearly 10%, is a response to findings from a VA review of mental health operations that additional staff is needed by some facilities to care for veterans. The need for VA mental health personnel is expected to increase for a decade or more after the end of the wars, according to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

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