Rooney: Expanding VA Mental Health Staff Key to Meeting Veterans’ Needs
For Immediate Release: April 19, 2012
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) issued the following statement on the announcement from the Department of Veterans Affairs that it is adding 1,600 mental health clinicians and 300 support staff to its mental health workforce:
“When our troops return home, we need to do everything we can to make sure they get the health care – including mental health care – they need and deserve. We have taken tremendous strides in just the last few years to improve mental health services for our troops and veterans, and I’m glad the VA has heeded our bipartisan call to ensure they have the personnel required to meet our veterans’ needs.”
Rooney is a Co-Chairman of the House Military Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Caucus, sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and served in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. He has championed several bipartisan bills to improve and expand mental health services for America’s troops and veterans, including legislation now written into law to require confidential mental health screenings for troops returning from deployment and to expand access to licensed mental health professionals for Tricare beneficiaries. He has also advocated increased funding and VA staff to provide mental health services and treatment.