Veterans Affairs to increase staff by 1,900

Aaron DuBois

The Department of Veteran Affairs announced Thursday it will be increasing its staff by roughly 1,900, according to the Associated Press.

The effort will be taking place in order to anticipate the needs of returning veterans and to deal with a shortage in specialists.

The VA has seen an increase of 35 percent of veterans receiving mental health services since 2007.

A survey conducted by the VA last fall reported that 70 percent of 272 mental health providers said they lacked adequate space and staff.

The department said it will be looking to recruit from schools, the military and the private sector.

"As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning veterans," VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement. "History shows that the costs of war will continue to grow for a decade or more after the operational missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended. As more veterans return home, we must ensure that all veterans have access to quality mental health care."