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El Paso VA breaks ground on new mental health facility

El Paso VA breaks ground on new mental health facility (Source: KFOX14)

Veterans in the borderland will soon have a place they can go that is dedicated to mental health.

The El Paso Veteran’s Affair’s Healthcare System broke ground on the new facility that will be in the medical district.

People we spoke with told KFOX14 there’s a big need for this type of facility.

"There is a large demand for these services,” said Navy veteran John Rhodes. "I am a beneficiary of the mental health services of the VA. If I didn't take advantage of those, I probably would have just been another statistic."

Michael Amaral, the director of the El Paso VA Healthcare System said this new facility will help them give veterans better care.

"It's our first real focus on mental health services and getting those consolidated, expanding those for our veterans in getting them in a more timely manner,” he said.

He said the new location will help with their new partnership.

"So, our being able to capitalize on the existing relationship with Texas Tech and residents we have over there, it's going to be fantastic,” he said.

Amaral told KFOX14 working with the Texas Tech Medical School will help in more ways than one.

"I want them to get immersed into providing care to our veterans, because that's also a recruiting tool for me,” he said.

The clinic will be able to hold 40,000 veterans a year, and employ over 160 people.

People told us it’s something many veterans will take advantage of.

"A lot of folks have seen bad things, especially in combat,” said CSM Joe Fierro Jr. with the U.S. Army. "It affects you, it affects everybody who's been to war."

This new facility is expected to open in 2019.

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