FORT KNOX, Ky., July 25 (UPI) -- Uncle Sam wants psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and social workers as well as graduate students entering these fields to consider the U.S. Army.
Col. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army's Medical Recruiting Brigade commander, says the military is one of the largest healthcare organizations in the world and offers behavioral health providers the chance to work in the areas of mental resilience, combat and operational stress control.
Army Health Care offers more than 90 professional healthcare career paths and its F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program covers the cost of tuition, school fees, books and a monthly stipend of more than $2,000.
Practicing physicians and health professionals can join the Army Reserve at any time in their career -- up to age 60.
"Behavioral health continues to be an area of strong emphasis for our medical recruiting mission," Dingle says in a statement. "The number of soldiers has increased in the past decade, and we must keep pace with recruitment of therapists and behavioral health professionals to optimally support our soldiers and their families."
A Rand Corp. study this year found the U.S. military suicide rate has increased sharply since 2001, from about 10 per 100,000 service members to nearly 16 per 100,000 in 2008. The increase corresponds with the time frame for the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.