Washington • The Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday it was increasing its staff of mental health workers by roughly 1,900, part of an effort to anticipate medical needs of veterans returning home from war.
The department plans to add about 1,600 clinicians, including psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers, and about 300 support staff to an existing mental health staff of roughly 20,590.
"As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning Veterans," V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement. "History shows that the costs of war will continue to grow for a decade or more after the operational missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended. As more Veterans return home, we must ensure that all Veterans have access to quality mental health care."