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VA to Train More Psychologists

Peake: Expansion Meets Current and Future Needs

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To meet increased needs for mental health services for veterans, especially those returning from the Global War on Terror, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding its training programs for psychologists.

"Not all the wounds of war are visible," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "VA is committed to ensuring veterans receive world-class care for mental health services. This initiative meets our short-term needs, but it will also guarantee we have a pool of well-trained psychologists in the future."

VA, which has more than 11,000 mental health professionals to care for veterans, has hired more than 800 psychologists in the last three years. Because psychology is a key part of comprehensive health care, the Department anticipates an ongoing need to employ additional psychologists.

The best resource for VA recruitment of psychologists has been the Department's own training programs. Seventy-three percent of psychologists hired in the past two years have had VA training.

As a result, VA has worked with its partners among professional schools and universities to increase the number of psychologists who receive training through VA programs each year, beginning with the 2008-2009 training year.

The new positions will include 61 internship and 98 post-doctoral fellowship positions, bringing the national number of training positions in psychology to 620 per year.

The recently awarded positions include four new internship training programs and 26 new post-doctoral fellowship programs. In addition, 31 existing internship programs and 17 existing postdoctoral fellowship programs have been expanded.

The new internship programs are at the following locations: Anchorage, Alaska; Asheville, N.C.; Iowa City, Iowa; and Richmond, Va.

The new post-doctoral fellowship programs are located at: Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Baltimore; Bay Pines, Fla.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbia, Mo.; Detroit; Durham, N.C.; Los Angeles; Hines, Ill.; Honolulu; Jackson, Miss.; Little Rock, Ark.; Loma Linda, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Manhattan, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; Salem, Va.; Salt Lake City; San Diego; St. Louis; Tampa, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; West Haven, Conn.; and White River Junction, Vt.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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