CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs has opened an expansion at its Charleston hospital to provide more services for veterans with long-term mental illness.
The $5 million expansion at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center includes classrooms, group therapy space and clinical offices. In recent years the hospital has expanded its staff with specialists who can treat substance abuse and post-traumatic stress as well as work with homeless vets.
The agency says demand for mental health services at the hospital has grown during the past five years.
In 2006, mental health patients comprised 13 percent of the hospital's patients. Now the hospital serves 13,000 mental health patients, about a quarter of all patients served.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)