VA Counseling Productivity Targets Compromise Care

Mental health counselors required to see more patients in less time.

The Department of Veterans Affairs instituted new metrics for mental health counselors in the Readjustment Counseling Service in 2016. Since that time, counselors in Vet Centers have been required to conduct 30 sessions per week, raising concerns of burnout for counselors as well as diminished effectiveness of treatment for veterans.

The Readjustment Counseling Service helps veterans dealing with service-related trauma to transition to civilian life.

Mike Fisher, chief officer of all the VA’s Vet Centers, supports the increased patient count that counselors are expected to meet. However, after a year-long investigation, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the counseling standards “have the potential to negatively affect care and create undue burden and stress on counselors.” The GAO has issued recommendations to reevaluate the counselor productivity expectations.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the Department of Veterans Affairs as they care for those who have served in the U.S. military.
  • That the Readjustment Counseling Service would fully consider the GAO’s recommendation.
  • For veterans who are struggling with trauma and reentry to civilian life.

Sources: NPR, WPRI,


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