Truman Veterans Hospital expands mental health staff

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 | 6:34 p.m. CDT; updated 9:05 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 12, 2012

COLUMBIA — The Truman Veterans Hospital is adding seven new staff positions to its mental health care programs, it announced today.

These additions to the hospital's staff are part of a nationwide effort to expand the mental health care programs being offered to returning veterans. There will be about 1,900 positions added to existing programs across the country and the state.

The announcement was made after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General released a report on April 23 that showed there are currently not enough health care providers to meet the needs of returning veterans, said Stephen Gaither, public affairs officer at Truman Veterans Hospital. 

The nationwide mental health care expansion began May 16, Gaither said. 

The seven new staff members in Columbia will be working in programs including the behavioral health triage, the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical team and the suicide prevention program. 

Each new health care provider could reach hundreds of veterans who are battling psychological issues and have not received care, a news release from the hospital said.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in a news release that "as the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to anticipate the needs of returning veterans." 

Any health care provider interested in one of the new positions can apply at USA Jobs

Supervising editor is Ann Elise Taylor.

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