VA works to boost hiring of mental health workers

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Vancouver — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday it has developed an aggressive initiative to boost hiring of mental health professionals.

In the Portland-Vancouver region, the Portland VA Medical Center already has adopted several innovative programs. One of them, seeking to curb homelessness, led to the recent opening of the Community Resource and Referral Center in downtown Portland. The VA's existing workforce of 20,590 mental health workers includes 316 people working to support veterans in northwest and central Oregon, and Southwest Washington.

The VA's national Mental Health Hiring Initiative includes targeted recruitment of mental health providers who are willing to take positions throughout the country, including in rural areas.

For more information, visit http://www.va.gov. Immediate help is available at http://www.veteranscrisisline.net or by calling the crisis line at 800-273-8255 or texting 838255.