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Mental health professionals added to VA staff

We have posted frequently about the issue of a backlog in both Social Security and in the Veterans Affairs system. Now, the VA has announced that they will be adding more than 1,000 mental health professionals to the department in the hopes of not only meeting President Obama's requirement, but also providing more adequate care to veterans. Additionally, 200 members will be added to support staff, which will hopefully result in a decreased backlog.

However, though these are certainly steps in the right direction, the VA will still need over 500 more members of staff, including doctors and nurses as well as additional mental health counselors in order to comply with the president's requirements. The recent additions were spurred by a report by the inspector general which revealed that the agency "overstated how quickly it provided health care," which is certainly a cause for concern. Obviously, we all want to see those in need of treatment find it as quickly as possible, but cooking the numbers does both veterans and staffers a great disservice.

Mental health care for veterans has been a concern for many in the recent decade -- with 11 years of war and numerous cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, there seems to be an ever-growing need for care for our veterans. 

For veterans who may be struggling with health issues, both physical and mental, there are resources available. Pursuing veterans disability benefits can help to afford and receive these benefits. Attorneys who are experienced in the Social Security and Veterans Affairs systems can be an excellent place to start.

Source: ABC News, "VA Adds 1,000 Mental Health Professionals to Staff," Kevin Freking, Feb. 11, 2013

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