About VA Mental Health
About VA Mental Health
For the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nothing is more important than supporting the health and well-being of the Nation’s Veterans and their families. A major part of that support is providing timely access to high-quality, evidence-based mental health care. VA aims to address Veterans’ needs, during Service members’ reintegration into civilian life and beyond.
The VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Guidebook provides information on the variety of mental health services that VA offers on both a national and local level. These programs and services are rooted in several core values:
Focus on Recovery
Keeping a focus on recovery from mental health challenges or substance use issues empowers Veterans to take charge of their treatment and live a full and meaningful life. This approach focuses on the Veteran’s strengths offering respect, honor, and hope to Veterans and the family members who support them.
VA provides treatments that are proven to be effective for mental health concerns. These treatments are time-limited and focus on helping Veterans recover and meet their goals. To learn more about evidence-based mental health treatments, please visit treatmentworksforvets.org. You can also view a video, “Evidence-Based Treatment: What Does It Mean,” and other brief videos about evidence-based treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on the website for the VA National Center for PTSD.
Measurement-Based Care (MBC)
In MBC, the Veteran and their health care provider use information provided by the Veteran to improve mental health care and ensure it is individualized to the Veteran’s specific needs and goals. MBC helps Veterans take an active role in their care. VA is working to ensure MBC is part of the care in all its Mental Health programs.
Coordinated Care for the Whole Person
VA health care providers work together to provide safe and effective treatment for the whole person — head to toe, inside and out using a Whole Health approach. Timely medical care, good nutrition, and regular exercise — along with a sense of purpose and supportive family members and friends — are just as important to mental health as to physical health. Veterans take an active role in their care by partnering with their providers to improve their health and well-being.
It all starts with a simple question: What matters most to you? That’s the first step in the Whole Health approach which is designed to help Veterans achieve and maintain their best all-around health and well-being. Through a Whole Healthapproach, VA is committed to empowering, equipping, and treating Veterans according to their preferences and priorities. Learn more about Whole Health and the impact this is having in helping Veterans live their life to the fullest by visiting the Whole Health for Life website.
Emergency mental health care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at VA medical centers. VAMCs that do not have a 24-hour emergency room must provide these services through a local, non-VA hospital. Telephone evaluations at VAMCs and the Veterans Crisis Line are also available 24/7.
Care Close to Home
VA is moving closer to where Veterans live by adding more rural area and mobile clinics, and working with other health care providers in the community. VA also uses cutting-edge technologies, including telemental health through video connection, for Veterans to access care from the comfort of their own homes.