An expansion of mental health care in the U. S. Veterans Affairs health care system will be bringing additional staff to the Havre VA clinic.
VA Montana Health Care System public information officer Terrie Casey said the expansion will include a new position at the Merril Lundman Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Havre, which opened in 2009 and was dedicated to Lundman, a driving force in its creation, in 2010.
“One of the new mental health positions that falls under this is a psychologist for Havre, ” Casey said.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced this week that the department was adding about 1,600 mental health clinicians as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce.
In the release announcing the expansion, the department estimated that five clinicians and two support personnel will be hired to support mental health operations at VA Montana Health Care System, in addition to the 81 mental health clinicians and support staff now working to provide care for Montana veterans.
The release said the positions are expected to be filled within six months.
Casey said a vacancy in a position for a social worker at the Lundman clinic also is expected to be filled soon.
The mental health professionals work with veterans through individualized care, readjustment counseling and immediate crisis services, the release said, adding that additional staff members also allow them to look “long-term and expand into cutting edge Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder … research and to explore alternative therapies. ”
To locate the nearest VA facility or vet center for enrollment and to get scheduled for care, veterans can visit VA’s website at http://www.va.gov. Immediate help is available at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or by calling the Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255 and pressing 1, or texting 838255.