VA Ramps up Mental Health Care: Alaska Staff Has Been Working to Improve Access

Alex Spector | | June 17, 2012

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki often reminds us: as the tide of war recedes we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning veterans. As these newest veterans return home, we must ensure that they have access to quality mental health care in order to successfully make this transition to civilian life.

Last year, VA provided specialty mental health services to more than 1.3 million veterans — a 35 percent increase since 2007 in the number of veterans who received mental health services at VA. That’s why we recently announced that VA will add an additional 1,600 mental health staff professionals and an additional 300 support staff members nationwide.

Alaska will benefit from the providers allocated to the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, who will support rural Alaska veterans with telemental health technology...