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DoD-USPHS Partnership for Psychological Health

To address behavioral health issues associated with combat deployments, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Public Health Service signed a memorandum of agreement in 2008 establishing the "DoD-USPHS Partnership for Psychological Health" initiative. The initiative was designed to ensure that service members, their families, and veterans receive the resources they need by increasing the availability of behavioral health services such as psychiatric counseling, family and group therapy, and preventive and resiliency building services.

Behavioral health officers in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service are detailed to military medical treatment facilities across the Nation to treat service members who are returning from overseas deployment with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, anxiety, flashbacks, and depression.

Each officer currently serving in the Commissioned Corps understands the passion and desire involved in beginning this process. We salute you on your journey to stand beside us and advance the health of this great Nation.

Fort Bragg Home of The Airborne and Special Operations Forces

“I am incredibly proud of the [PHS] folks that are here at Womack and what they are doing to make an impact here and I would like to see that continue for some time. In no uncertain terms, they have instrumentally contributed to our ability to take care of our soldiers and families.” – Col. Canfield, former Commander of the Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) at Ft. Bragg

Partnership Videos

LCDR Bolton Hear directly from officers what the Partnership for Psychological Health means to them and to those being served.

Features

Golden Knights Read about some of the exciting work being done through the Partnership!

Job Opportunities

Officer in Uniform Apply your expertise, knowledge, and skills to improving outcomes for returning service members and their families. Join now.

Behavioral Health Officer

Behavioral health officers in the Commissioned Corps are detailed to military medical treatment facilities across the United States to treat service members who are returning from overseas deployment, as well as retirees and family members. Some officers are serving in North Carolina, Colorado, Hawaii, Georgia, and Alaska with the Army, Air Force, and Navy. Some of the services provided by Commissioned Corps officers include psychiatric counseling, family and group therapy, preventive and resiliency building services as well as consultation to the command on behavioral health concerns. To date, approximately 160 Commissioned Corps officers have been assigned to serve in 46 DoD facilities throughout the U.S.

“They wear the PHS uniform but provide care right beside DoD providers. It’s immediately relevant to our boots on the ground folks who have them or asked for them,” said Lt. Col. Hans V. Ritschard, USAF, BSC, who served as Director of the Psychological Health Strategic Operations Directorate in DoD’s Office of Force Health Protection and Readiness for the past two years overseeing the agreement.

The Commissioned Corps continues to actively recruit licensed behavioral health providers including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Officers will be assigned to specific locations within the United States for 3 years. After the initial 3-year period, extensions to remain in an assignment will be negotiated.

The Commissioned Corps offers a career path for behavioral health professionals who want to improve the quality of people's lives and make a difference in public health. The DoD-PHS initiative provides an opportunity for you to join the Corps and apply your expertise, knowledge, and skills to returning troops and their families. Commissioned Corps officers receive competitive compensation, including health and dental care at no cost, tax-free housing, 30 days of paid vacation a year, and a host of other benefits.

For more information about a career in behavioral health in the U.S. Public Health Service, visit the Behavioral Health Career and Benefits section. Specific job openings can be found at the following link:

Meet our Officers

Profiles in Public Health: LCDR Billy Collins

Profiles in Public Health: LCDR Kendal Bolton

Page Last Modified on 9/5/2014