Improving Veterans Access For Mental Health Care Using Transformational Leadership Strategies

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Improving Veterans Access to Mental Health Care Using Transformational Leadership Strategies

“Despite many calls for change, mental health care continues to be separate from the rest of health care. Difficulties in accessing mental health care have become a “de facto” in the US. Although screening for mental illness in primary care has increased in recent years, subsequent treatment remains inadequate and referral for specialty treatment continues to suffer from long delays. In the National Comorbidity Study, only 21.7% of individuals with major depressive disorder received adequate treatment (Grembowski, 2002).”
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is a component of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA),
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Addressing the mental health needs of our veterans requires a three pronged approach of timeliness, quality and appropriate care.
The VHA has been under great scrutiny in the past years for not providing quality access to mental health care when it comes to meeting the mental health needs of returning war veterans (Office of Inspector General, 2012). In fiscal year 2011, the VHA provided nearly 80 million outpatient medical appointments to veterans (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2011). VHA policy requires all new patients consulted to or requesting mental health services to receive an initial evaluation within 24 hours (Vogle, 2012). Subsequently, a more comprehensive diagnostic and treatment planning evaluation should be scheduled within 14 calendar days (VA OIG, 2012). Although access to timely medical appointments is important to ensuring veterans obtain needed care, long wait times and inadequate scheduling procedures continues to create persisting issues (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2013).
Research Problem Organizations often encounter challenges and issues pertaining to the relationship between leadership styles and organizational culture. Whether the organization falls within the private, non-profit, or government sectors, similar concerns can many times afflict its operational success. This quantitative research study replicates the Kest study that suggested further research into the relationship
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