Veterans hospital hires more mental health specialists

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | 6:22 p.m. CDT; updated 8:30 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 11, 2013

COLUMBIA — Truman Veterans Hospital hired six new mental health professionals and filled eight vacancies in order to help improve access to care for veterans.

The hiring was part of an August 2012 Executive Order to add 1,600 mental health professionals around the county. As of May 31, the veterans hospital system has hired 1,607 new mental health clinical providers across the U.S., according to a news release.

“I am proud of the hard work our staff has completed to bring these new staff members on board,” said Truman VA Director Sallie Houser-Hanfelder. “We are not slowing down our efforts, however, and will continue to actively recruit for any vacant mental health positions for the future, so veterans will get the care they need.” 

Last year, the hospital treated nearly 8,000 veterans for mental health services in mid-Missouri, according to Stephen Gaither, public affairs officer for the hospital.

The hospital provides programs to prevent suicide, treat post-traumatic stress disorder and help veterans transition back to their daily lives.  

Gaither said no new programs will be created and new employers will work with existing programs instead.

Those looking for employment with the Veterans Administration can go to



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