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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


VA Adding Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors to Workforce

April 24, 2012

Printable Version


 Follows Announcement of Additional 1900 Mental Health Staff Nationwide

WASHINGTON— The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded its mental health services to include professionals from two additional health care fields: marriage and family therapists (MFT) and licensed professional mental health counselors (LPMHC).

“The addition of these two mental health professions is an important part of VA’s mission to expand access to mental health services,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Veterans and their families can face unique challenges.  By providing a complete range of services, we can help them address those challenges and help keep more families together.”

The two fields will be included in the hiring of an additional 1,900 mental health staff nationwide that VA announced last week.  Recruitment and hiring will be done at the local level.  The new professionals will provide mental health diagnostic and psychosocial treatment services for Veterans and their families in coordination with existing mental health professionals at VA’s medical centers, community-based outpatient clinics, and Vet Centers.

VA has developed qualification standards for employment as LPMHCs and MFTs and has announced the appointments of mental health and health science professionals to serve on professional standards boards.  The boards will review applicants for LPMHC and MFT positions in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to determine eligibility for employment and the government grade level appropriate for the individual in the selected position.  The boards will also review promotions in these positions.

For more information about mental health care that VA provides, visit:  http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/

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