VA has developed an aggressive national mental health hiring initiative……

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed an aggressive national mental health hiring initiative to improve recruitment and hiring, marketing, education and training programs, and retention efforts for mental health professionals.

To expedite the national hiring process, VA developed the Mental Health Hiring Initiative, a multi-faceted, sustained national marketing and outreach campaign that includes targeted recruitment of mental health providers willing to take positions throughout the country, including in rural and highly rural markets, to serve all VA medical Centers and community clinics. Although there is a national shortage of mental health providers across the country, the VA has an existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff that includes nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.

Approximately 190 mental health clinicians work locally supporting Veterans within the VA PIHCS area covering our 2.6 million mile service area, which includes the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. Additionally, VA PIHCS offers various Telemental health programs at all sites as needed to support to our Veterans.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki noted that “as the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to anticipate the needs of returning Veterans.”

The initiative will help VA to meet existing and future demands of mental health care services in an integrated collaborative team environment and continue to position VA as an exemplary workplace for mental health care professionals while considering short term and long-term planning and needs of our Veterans.

“Mental health services must be closely aligned with Veterans’ needs and fully integrated with health care facility operations,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel. “Improving access to mental health services will help support the current and future Veterans who depend on VA for these vital services.”


VA Pacific Islands Health Care System Statistics

VA PIHCS currently has 37.5 core mental health program vacancies:

  • 2 Psychiatrists
  • 7 Clinical Nurse Specialists/NP
  • 8 Psychologists
  • 11 Social Workers
  • 6.5 RNs/LPNs
  • 1 Peer Counselor
  • 1 OT
  • 1 Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

Difficult to recruit locations/positions include:


  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Social Worker

American Samoa

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Social Worker
  • Psychiatrist


  • Clinical Nurse Specialist

Additional vacancies exist in the administrative and clerical support fields to the Community Based Outpatient Clinic as well. If you would like more information, please contact the VA PIHCS Public Affairs Office or Human Resources Office.

To locate the nearest VA facility or Vet Center for enrollment and to get scheduled for care, Veterans can visit VA’s website at

Perspective employees should review job announcements at the USA Jobs website,

Immediate help to Veterans is available at or by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.


Patricia Matthews

VA Pacific Islands Health Care System

Public Affairs Officer

808.433.0049 Desk

808.753.1260 Mobile

Have a great VA day!

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