I posted a tweet on Twitter (see below) about the sad state of affairs at the VA and their unwillingness to hire Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) even though OVER 8,000 VETS COMMIT SUICIDE EACH YEAR AND THE VA DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH CLINICIANS TO HELP PREVENT THOSE UNNECESSARY DEATHS.
I received a response from the VA, finally, and am posting my response sent to them via email today ...
In reference to my tweet and your reply:
I am not currently looking for full-time work due to an upcoming commitment (October 2014-February 2015), but am providing my resume as requested.
08:03 PM - 26 Aug 14
The issue seems more to be the fact that, even though the VA has been mandated by Congress to hire Licensed Professional Counselor’s (LPC) and has reportedly had great difficulty hiring the many clinicians required to serve the many Vets unable to access care for several years, LPCs have been ignored. I have searched USA Jobs on numerous occasions, but have yet to see more than a handful of LPC slots a VA facilities nationwide and none in my area. The VA is missing out on hiring well trained, experienced, professionals by bowing to the demands of the professional associations protecting the “status quo” and the careers of psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, many of whom have inferior clinical skills to many LPCs.
Veterans in the VA system and elsewhere need well trained, professional help with their depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues AND THEY ARE NOT CURRENTLY RECIEIVING THAT CARE! 22 Vets a day commit suicide and the VA cannot stand by and let another 8,030 Veterans die in the next year because you refuse to hire LPCs, particularly those with military backgrounds.
I don’t expect the VA to ever hire me, even if I were looking for work currently, because it has been proven that retaliation against whistleblowers and others who tell the truth about the sad state of affairs at the VA is the norm, not the exception. I hope and pray that changes soon and that the VA puts the welfare of Veterans above those of the shortsighted gatekeepers insistent on maintaining the status quo instead of giving Vets the care the so desperately need and deserve after serving their country and PROTECTING YOUR FREEDOMS.
You can read my article, The Stigma Killing American Heroes, published last year in De Oppresso Liber magazine on my blog, http://www.combatcounselor.com/2014/07/the-stigma-killing-american-heroes.html, where this email will also be posted. A copy will also be sent to my Congresswoman and Senator.
Thank you for getting back to me.
LtCol, USAF (Ret)
MS, LPC, NCC
Do Vets and the VA a favor and CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, telling them to "insist that the VA hire Licensed Professional Counselors and curtail the thousands of needless Veteran suicides each and every year!"
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