VA sec'y promises timely response to war illness

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2009 7:15 AM

Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki says he's working to improve the agency's ability to cope with increasing numbers of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health problems.

Shinseki told CBS's "The Early Show" Wednesday that increased troop rotations to war zones has caused a sharp rise in the number of men and women suffering from post traumatic stress (PTSD) and depression. He said, "The more people go back, it multiplies the incidences of these kinds of things occurring."

Shinseki, a retired general and former Army chief of staff, said "we are working diligently at increasing our capabilities here" and said the Department of Veterans Affairs now has some 19,000 mental health professionals on the job.