Veterans face unique challenges when returning home and transitioning back to civilian life, and our mental health professionals–psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and more–are integral to empowering Veterans to take charge of their wellbeing and pursue fuller lives.
“VA recognizes that mental health should always be a top priority,” explained Mike Owens, a national recruiter and host of our Talk About It Tuesday weekly livestream on LinkedIn, in a recent episode discussing mental health careers. “We want our Veterans to be healthy, and we want to make sure they’re getting what they need from VA.”
How do we do that? By building the most robust team of mental health providers in the country.
VA psychologists take on leadership roles; work in management, research, academia, and training; and even impact system-wide policies. They also have the opportunity to practice in several specialized areas, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, and serious mental illness.
Our social workers provide direct clinical services and coordinate special interest programs–all while working with the interdisciplinary care team to deliver care in the best interests of the patient.
Psychiatrists bring unique expertise to our team. As they would in any clinical setting, they focus on prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in their patients. However, the key difference for VA psychiatrists is their experience with Veterans who have unique and often complicated mental health challenges.
Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nursing assistants all have a valuable role to play when it comes to treating Veterans with mental health concerns. Advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists all profoundly impact the everyday care Veterans receive.
Counselors and therapists
As a licensed professional mental health counselor (LPMHC) or marriage and family therapist (MFT) at VA, your work will have an immediate impact on the lives of the Veterans in your care. You will provide counseling to individual Veterans, as well as their spouses and families, to help them find the solutions they need for better mental health.
Being of service to Veterans
No matter your focus, your experience providing mental health services makes you an important member of our team. You’ll partner with your fellow health care providers to address the whole health of our Veterans, and see rewarding results.
“VA is committed to Veterans, families, caregivers, and survivors,” said Jennifer Silva, licensed clinical social worker and National Social Work program manager at VA. “We’re really working hard to make sure that our Veterans have the best experience possible. Knowing that my colleagues share that same mission really just makes it a fun place to work, even when there are challenges. I just really enjoy and love my job.”
“The best thing is when a client is done coming to see me, and I find out that later what we talked about and what we did is working for them when they’re on their own,” said Joseph Lasky, counselor and director of VA’s Las Vegas Vet Center. “When you get to hear about that, when they thank you, it just makes everything worth it. Refills the battery, keeps you going and gets you ready for the next day.”
Work at VA
“Our mission here at VA is to make sure that we take care of our nation’s heroes, and the way that we do that is by having the most highly qualified person in each of those positions,” Owens reiterated, and if you believe that you’re the best, it’s time you joined our team.