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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plans to add 1,600 mental health clinicians such as nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. It also plans to add 300 support staff for a total of 1,900 additional staff members.
Workers will be added to the department’s existing mental health workforce of 20,590.
“As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “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.”