Mental health care
VA Houston health care operates a comprehensive behavioral health program. We are a regional center of excellence for Veteran-focused mental health care. Ask a care coordinator about treatment options suited to your unique needs.
Connect with a care coordinator
Margaret Schmitt, PhD
Local Recovery Coordinator
VA Houston health care
Care we provide at VA Houston
The Behavioral Health Department offers inpatient, outpatient, and community-based treatment programs. We provide consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a variety of issues impacting emotional well-being. Our services include:
- Services for Veterans who are homeless
- Treatment for addictive disorders, including residential rehabilitation treatment programs by referral
- Transition and care management for returning Veterans (OIF/OEF/OND)
We provide consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a wide variety of issues that can impact emotional well-being:
- Depression, sadness, grief
- Anxiety, worry, nervousness
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotions, managing anger, aggression
- Self-harming thoughts or behaviors
- Substance use issues
- Confusion and memory problems
- Family and relationship problems, transitioning home
- Stress from medical problems or pain
- Location: 6th floor, Room 100
- Phone: 713-794-7561 (Mental Health Care Line main office)
- Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Schedule appointment: 713-794-8700 or 800-639-5137
- Medication refills: 713-794-8985
- Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1.
- Acute Inpatient Services
- Emergency Treatment
- Veteran Justice Outreach Services
Bipolar and Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Clinic
A specialty clinic within the General Mental Health Clinic designed to assess and treat Veterans with psychotic-spectrum disorders. We help Veterans develop healthy thinking strategies, and improve other areas of their lives, such as social skills, memory, and depression. We provide group and individual therapy to treat psychosis and bipolar disorder, as well as medication management and case management services to help with recovery.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
Through a combination of individual counseling and skills training classes, Veterans can learn new ways to tolerate extreme emotions, behave in a less self-destructive manner, and interact more effectively with the world.
Learn more about the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at VA Houston.
General Mental Health Clinic (GMHC)
Offers services including medication management, individual and group psychotherapy, couples and family counseling, psychological testing, case management, and peer support. Coordination to other sub-specialty mental health programs for substance use, trauma, supported employment, community reintegration, etc.
Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM)
The MHICM Program serves Veterans with severe chronic mental illness. Staff meet with Veterans in the community, their homes, and in our offices. We help Veterans meet recovery goals, such as improving life through work, education, recreation, housing, skill building, and social relationships.
Specialty Outpatient Mental Health Service (General Mental Health, PTSD Clinical Team)
Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Everyone responds to harassment and sexual assault differently. Experiencers may find themselves struggling after the incident and wonder what they can do to help themselves recover. MST can be a very difficult life experience, but recovery is possible. VA has a range of services available to meet MST survivors where they are at in their recovery. For help with treatment and health care related to experiences of MST, please contact our MST Coordinator.
Courtney Rampino, LICSW
Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator
Phone: 713-791-1414, ext. 27634
Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Services (PRRCs)
PRRCs are outpatient specialty mental health transitional learning centers. The focus is on helping Veterans who experience serious mental illness identify environments in which to live, work, learn, and socialize that are all based on their personal goals, needs, and preferences.
The PTSD Clinical Team provides gold-standard, evidence-based psychotherapy to treat PTSD related to military or other traumas. The goal of treatment is to facilitate recovery from PTSD by reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Therapies provided are those that have the strongest scientific support and are considered the best treatments for PTSD.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- Written Exposure Therapy
- Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders using Prolonged Exposure
Other treatments include:
- Seeking Safety for PTSD and Substance Use
- Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation
- Conjoint Couples Therapy for PTSD
- Meditation Group for PTSD
Treatment plans are individually tailored to meet the unique needs of each Veteran served. Therapy is available via telehealth to the home and on-site with evening and Saturday hours.
Substance use services
The Substance Disorders Treatment Program (SDTP) offers outpatient care to Veterans with substance use disorders. This care includes individual counseling, case management, and group based therapies. Treatments offered include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders, Twelve Step Facilitation, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Couples and Family Therapy for Substance Use Disorders, Peer Support, and Contingency Management for Stimulant Use Disorders. Group based therapies are offered during the day and evening hours and range from as few as one group per week to as many as nine or more. The Intensive Outpatient Program utilizes the MATRIX model curriculum from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. Medication management, including outpatient detoxification and medication assisted treatment for Alcohol and Opioid Use Disorders, is available through the GMHC (above).
Suicide Prevention Services
If you're a Veteran in crisis or you're concerned about a Veteran in crisis, VA Houston health care suicide prevention coordinators can get you the support you need. They work with our behavioral health providers and community organizations to assist Veterans who are managing emotional or mental health crises.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The Vocational Rehabilitation Service offers referrals for vocational assistance and help finding work, supported employment in the community, and enriched transitional work opportunities.
Learn more about Vocational Rehabilitation Services at VA Houston.
Mental health services are confidential. We will not talk to anyone about information you share unless you give written consent. Under federal law, a few exceptions to this rule exist. If you have questions, please ask your mental health provider.