The need for the centers has grown over the years with veterans from the 12-year war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, which began just over 10 years ago and ended in December 2011, getting diagnoses and needing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other issues.
At the same time, veterans from past wars still need counseling and treatment, some of them admitting it for the first time decades after their service.
Veterans suicides have spiked since 2005, as multiple combat tours took a toll on members of the armed services.
In an attempt to address the sharp increase, the VA announced last month that it has hired more than 1,000 new mental health clinical providers since last year, when retired general Eric Shinseki, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, set a goal of hiring 1,600 in total. In August, President Obama ordered that the positions be filled by June 30.
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