Mental health care not meeting VA standards

Friday - 10/28/2011, 1:37pm EDT

Dr. Kate Watkins, senior natural scientist, RAND Corporation

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Mental health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs "is as good as or better" than the care the private sector provides civilians with comparable conditions. However, a new report from the RAND Corporation said the care still doesn't meet standards set by the VA.

RAND studied the mental health services veterans with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression and substance use disorders received from the Veterans Health Administration. From 2004-2008, the number of veterans seeking treatment for these conditions increased by 38.5 percent.

Dr. Kate Watkins, a senior natural scientist at RAND and principal author of the Mental Health Program Evaluation, told Federal News Radio where the VA has been successful, where it has fallen short and how much treatment costs for veterans with these diagnoses.

The study was commissioned by VA under the Government Performance and Results Act.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.