The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is obligated to care for veterans. With more military members returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the VA is bracing for increased demands on its services. Veterans disability benefits and mental health care are top priorities.

PTSD a Growing Mental Health Concern

Experts say that between 11 to 20 percent of all veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Not to mention, 10 percent of Desert Storm veterans and 30 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from these  “invisible wounds of war” as well.

More and more veterans need mental health care. To meet the demand, the VA has announced that it will be adding 1,900 nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and support staff to its current 20,590 mental health care staff.

VA’s Mental Health Care Commitment

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said, “As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning Veterans. History shows that the costs of war will continue to grow for a decade or more after the operational missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended. As more Veterans return home, we must ensure that all Veterans have access to quality mental health care.”

For online PTSD information, including helpful resources for veterans and their families, visit the VA’s National Center for PTSD.

Need help fast? Call the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255 on your mobile phone.

Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.