Opportunities for psychologists as VA expands mental health workforce

The agency is looking to add approximately 1,600 mental health professionals

June 21, 2012—According to a June 11 press release from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the federal agency is implementing an “aggressive national recruitment program” to add approximately 1,600 mental health professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and nurses to its workforce.

Psychologist Antonette Zeiss, PhD, the Chief Consultant for the VA Office of Mental Health Services, describes the initiative as an “unparalleled effort” by VA to expand its mental health workforce rapidly.

An earlier VA press release noted that the agency’s ongoing review of operations found that some VA facilities require additional mental health staff to meet the growing needs of veterans, and that “moving quickly to address [these needs] is a top priority.”

The VA has already filled several hundred of the positions, and the number of newly hired mental health professionals increases daily. The agency’s June 11 press release indicates that the agency anticipates selecting the majority of new hires by the end of 2012.

Licensed psychologists interested in exploring VA employment opportunities and applying for jobs online should visit the VA careers website.

The new hires will augment the VA's current mental health workforce of 20,590. VA will continue to assess staffing levels as the agency expands its workforce.