Jun 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm
St. Cloud, Minn (KNSI) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has met the goal to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in President Obama's August 31, 2012, Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families.
The St. Cloud VA Health Care System has hired eight additional mental health professionals to fill six full-time positions and two part-time positions.
The newly-hired mental health professionals join more than 250 VA mental health clinicians and support staff working locally to support central Minnesota Veterans at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center and Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Alexandria, Brainerd, and Montevideo.
Since 2006, the St. Cloud VA has seen a 54% increase in the number of individual Veterans seen per year in Mental Health, and has increased mental health staff by 69% in the same period. In 2012, 9,664 Veterans from throughout Minnesota and the upper Midwest were treated in St. Cloud VA mental health programs.
In addition to adding more staff, in April of this year the St. Cloud VA started construction of a new 19,000 square foot mental health building. The new building will facilitate the alignment of mental health programs in order to improve efficiencies and begin to close a significant space deficit at the historic, 89-year-old medical center in St. Cloud.
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