In continuing coverage, the NPR (7/6) website posted audio of a “Morning Edition” story noting that a “Veterans Affairs hospital in Milwaukee has begun recruiting for additional mental health” professionals. The recruitment is “part of a nationwide” VA “effort to bring on about 1,600 new psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to reduce wait times for treatment.” NPR notes that VA “says it will be aggressive in recruiting candidates for the new mental health positions and hopes to have most on board within six months.”
Official To Senators: VA Is Hiring More Mental Health Professionals. American Medical News (7/6, Fiegl) reports, “Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Patty Murray (D, Wash.) has introduced legislation that would require more oversight of federal suicide prevention programs” and that “would expand mental health coverage to family members of servicemen and women to help them cope with deployments.” Murray’s “committee held a June 27 hearing to discuss the Mental Health Access to Continued Care and Enhancement of Support Services and several other pieces of legislation. The VA has taken steps to improve access, said Madhulika Agarwal, MD, MPH, the VA deputy undersecretary for health policy and services,” who noted that VA has launched an initiative to hire more mental health professionals.
— “VA Hospital Recruits Mental Health Providers, “Erin Toner, NPR, July 5, 2012.