Program DescriptionThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides general and specialty mental health services for treatment of the broad range of mental health conditions, including treatment for substance abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma (discussed in detail below) and serious mental illness. Services are provided in the outpatient and inpatient mental health setting. General and psychogeriatric mental health services are provided as an integral part of primary care within the Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) as well as VA nursing homes and residential care facilities where many Veterans receive care.
In addition to providing comprehensive, evidence based psychiatric care, there are a number of unique psychosocial services and resources available to eligible Veterans who have schizophrenia or another serious mental illness (SMI) through the mental health programs at VA medical centers (VAMCs). A list of VAMCs can be found using VA's Location Finder tool. When calling for more information, please ask to be connected to the chief of the mental health service, the local mental health recovery coordinator, or the Patient Advocate.
General Program Requirements
You generally must be enrolled in the VA health care system (or qualify based on one of the exceptions in the law). Go to Basic Medical Benefits Package for Veterans to see the program requirements.
If you have a mental health problem that VA has rated service-connected or are seeking treatment for a mental or physical health condition related to military sexual trauma, you don't need to enroll.
Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services, the Veteran/Servicemember's character of discharge or service must be under conditions other than dishonorable (e.g. honorable, under honorable conditions, general). However, individuals receiving undesirable, bad conduct, and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.
Application ProcessTo get help now, please visit VA's Mental Health homepage
For information on how to apply, visit VA's Mental Health "Get Help" page.