The Office of Patient Care Services (PCS), Mental Health Services (MHS), in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is responsible for providing strategic guidance for improving the quality and availability of mental health care for Veterans nationwide. Services are provided for serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, aging-related conditions, primary care integration with mental health, women Veterans, and returning Service members from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The function of the Chief Consultant, Mental Health Services, is to provide oversight and guidance to advance quality of care for Veterans with mental health needs across the full spectrum of those served by VHAs mental health services, increasing coordination with Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal partners at all appropriate levels. This spectrum of resources, care, and services spans from resilience and prevention programs to health promotion through clinical care for specific mental health disorders. To accomplish these goals, the Chief Consultant also has lead responsibility for MHS staff.
As Chief Consultant, Mental Health Services (MHS), the incumbent supports planning, developing, administering, and implementing policies and procedures governing comprehensive mental health programs. In carrying out these duties, the incumbent works with all levels of VA staff within VA Central Office (VACO) and the field, representatives of other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and community-based organizations to further identify the mental health needs of Veterans and develop strategies to address those needs. These collaborations include significant interface with the Department of Defense (DoD), in order to promote a public health model for mental health and provide coordinated mental health services for Service members and Veterans from oath to grave.
The incumbent, who reports to the Deputy Chief Patient Care Services Officer, has a high degree of leadership, motivation, and dedication to effective mental health service delivery. In addition, the incumbent is broadly acquainted with clinical treatment modalities, administrative and clinical support systems, DoD and other federal health care systems and policies, and is knowledgeable about multifaceted health care delivery systems and their relationship to external review organizations as well as hospital and service level operations.
As Chief Consultant, the individual possesses extensive knowledge of somatic and pharmacological treatments of Mental Health conditions and is responsible to develop effective communication networks for Psychiatry and other prescribing staff nationally and effective strategies for linking those specific networks with interdisciplinary networks of mental health and other health care providers in order to support the full biopsychosocial model. The incumbent supports and ensures the integration of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment as needed to promote optimal clinical outcomes for patients. In addition, the incumbent maintains communication with healthcare professionals working for VA in the field, providing consultation on professional issues affecting psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, and other health care professionals, and ensures that healthcare professionals function effectively as a component of overall effective VA mental health care and overall health care.