Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than three million calls

Dispatched Emergency Services nearly 78,000 times


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Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has been an invaluable resource for Veterans nationwide — answering more than 3 million calls and initiating the dispatch of emergency services to callers in crisis nearly 78,000 times.

All VA Medical Centers can now directly connect a Veteran to the Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans Crisis Line responders have also engaged in nearly 363,000 chats through the anonymous online chat service added in 2009, and we’ve answered more than 81,000 texts since our text messaging service began in November 2011.

I say all of this to show that from the start, the Veterans Crisis Line staff has consistently looked for more opportunities to better serve Veterans, and that desire to expand our services hasn’t slowed down.

The No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act took effect in 2016, and we’ve responded with steps designed to provide the best support possible. From employing staggered shift scheduling for better coverage during periods of high call volume to formalizing our intensive training program and incorporating the latest evidence-based practices, we are always working to enhance our ability to serve Veterans.

New Call Center in Kansas

Most recently, we implemented an automatic transfer system: With the push of a button, a local VA Medical Center can directly connect a Veteran to the Veterans Crisis Line. Soon we will greatly expand call capacity with the opening of a third call center in Topeka, Kan.

The results of these efforts have already begun to show, as virtually every call we receive is answered by a Veterans Crisis Line responder with specific training to provide support to Veterans and Service members. In 2017, just 0.3 percent of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line were rolled over to non-VA crisis line operators, and that percentage fell to 0.07 in December.

We’re committed to providing the support that our Veterans have earned. If you’re experiencing a crisis or having thoughts of harming yourself, the Veterans Crisis Line can help. More than 500 responders are ready to answer your call, because they believe no Veteran should be without support in a time of need. You served your country, and we’re here to serve you.

If you or a Veteran you know is in crisis, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255, or chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net to get immediate help.

For more information about the Veterans Crisis Line, visit www.VeteransCrisisLine.net. For more information about VA’s mental health resources, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov.


Author: Matthew A. Miller, PhD, MPH – Director of Veterans Crisis Line

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VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Adam Canchola    

    I’m a 61 Homeless Va. Veteran USMC 1975 PLEASE Help me find a warm place for a couple of weeks ok … God Bleess All , amen..

  2. PETER W DUFFY    

    I am a Vietnam War Vet , and I have just been been diagnosed with Bladder Canser. I am being treated by a local clinic and the VA, my question is, is Bladder Canser part of Agent Orange sindrome?
    I am now at 80% disabled should I file for increase to 100%

    Thanks for your help

  3. Jessie Berckmann    

    Thank-you so much.. I have chatted with the crisis online.. I had to find a place to charge my phone. Being homeless people do treat me different then before. It hard I can’t get clean the way I use to and wearing the same clothes for days well it’s not very attractive.

    1. Jessie Berckmann    

      I just really need help ASAP… there’s been 2 rapes this month

Comments are closed.