VA career professionals provide Veterans with PTSD treatment that works

Recognizing the role of VA mental health professionals on PTSD Awareness Day.


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Today on PTSD Awareness Day, during the month of June and all year long, the mental health professionals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are providing healing and hope to Veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although data varies, VA and other studies of those who served in major conflicts — from Vietnam to Operation Enduring Freedom — estimate that between 11% and 30% of Veterans experience PTSD now or will experience it during their lifetime.

PTSD Awareness observations highlight that PTSD treatment works for Veterans with access to it, and that they have options for care from VA’s many psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers.

In fact, VA recently announced that it exceeded its goal of hiring more than 1,000 mental health workers, and has filled nearly 4,000 mental health positions nationwide since 2017.

“VA committed to improve access to mental health care in June 2017 as part of its top clinical priority to prevent Veteran suicide,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a June 14 news release. “As outlined in the MISSION Act, VA will continue to recruit and retain the best health care providers to meet patient demand and provide quick access to mental health care. Building a clinical trainee pipeline of qualified health care professionals is crucial to future VA recruitment and sustainment efforts.”

With these many mental health career professionals now hired — and new recruits coming on board regularly — nearly 120,000 more Veterans in rural and urban areas have greater access to high-quality mental health services. These include trauma-focused psychotherapy, cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization, reprocessing and medication. Veterans are increasingly able to access mental health care remotely through VA’s telehealth and connected care services.

VA mental health workers and Veterans also benefit from the knowledge gathered and shared by the VA National Center for PTSD, the world’s leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress. The center uses its expertise in research and education to promote better understanding, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.

Choose VA today 

Mental health professionals who choose a career with VA also receive rewards, benefits and perks, including market, performance and incentive pay based on education and length of practice. Mental health professionals hired under Title 38 get 49 days paid time off, and free liability protection. Benefits also include access to the Federal Employees Retirement System and premium-paid health insurance.

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

If you are a Veteran in crisis or are concerned about one, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with VA. Many of them are Veterans themselves. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or click www.veteranscrisisline.net to chat or text.

Author

VA Careers

Comments

  1. Dan Karsip    

    This country has a history of failing to support the military. Too often those returning from conflict do not receive help they need and can’t cope, especially with what they regard as the lack of discipline in civil society. Their families particularly suffer. We have the means, and it’s about time we had the will, to help them. They serve us; we owe them.

  2. David R Hoffman    

    I’ve used VA services for multiple conditions one of them being PTSD. I’m Vietnam era so it’s been a long time ago,I didn’t except that anything could be wrong with me.It took me 15 yrs.,hitting bottom at least 3 times,losing my wife an daughter,getting locked up 3 or 4 times and thought to myself I can not take this anymore! Did I mention being homeless; some how I found myself at the VA talking to a counselor.I have never left since that day almost 40 years ago.

  3. Arnold H Fuller    

    I went to the VA because of PTSD. I was rated for it, and went in to Administrative Medicine for a check up. When I was in Vietnam, I was on bunker guard duty. One of our men had been captured. About 3 AM, they stripped him, cut off his manhood, and told him to run to the bunkers, and that they would save him. Part of the way to the bunkers women started screaming. We did not know what was going on, or who or what it was, so we opened fire, and set off claymore mines. When it was daylight, we found out the truth. I told this to the evaluator, he laughed and laughed. He said that it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. He also said that there was not anything wrong with me, and that he would have PTSD payments stopped. I was not in the room with him more than 10 minutes, he made this determination, and walked out. I went to see his supervisor the next day to complain, and his boss said it was the funniest thing he had ever heard, and that was it. I went to the patient advocate, and she said that she would look into it. I never heard back from her. I talked to her boss, and all he said is these usually take some time. It has been 3 years, a lot of phone calls, and no results. After several months I received a copy of the evaluation and turn down. I talked to another patient, and we compared letters. They were both for turn downs, and were almost identical. His review also took about 10 minutes. The 3 page rejection letter and the explanation on why could not be based on a competent evaluation by any competent e.xaminer

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