November 11, 2013

Expand Mental Health Care for Veterans Says CNAS Scholar in New Report

As the nation honors its veterans today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has released a new report calling upon the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand its mental health care resources to meet the growing needs of veterans across the country.  
Although the VA will spend nearly $7 billion this year on mental health care for veterans, CNAS Senior Fellow Phillip Carter argues in Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans, this is not likely to be enough. The report urges the VA to rely more on the private sector and work more closely with local community and private philanthropic organizations. 
Download a copy of Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans.  
Among his specific recommendations, Mr. Carter proposes that the VA develop and share mental health care data, pursue a portfolio approach that invests in the most promising care models, develop a wraparound information environment that integrates with the private and philanthropic sectors, build a human capital pipeline of mental health care personnel, and invest in emerging technologies, such as telemedicine.  The additional investment is essential, says Mr. Carter, as “those receiving treatment do better in managing their post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury and are less likely to commit suicide."