It's okay to call for help. iStock Photo
The veterans crisis line is here to help, just call 800-273-8255
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working on improvements to its Veterans Crisis Line, which serves as a life-saving resource for veterans who find themselves at risk of suicide.
The Crisis Line is forming a stronger bond with the VA’s Suicide Prevention Office and Mental Health Services. This partnership includes VA’s National Mental Health Director for Suicide Prevention as well as several hubs of expertise, including one Center of Excellence focusing on suicide prevention research and education located at the same medical campus as the Crisis Line responders in Canandaigua, N.Y.
The Veterans Crisis Line is now under the direction of the VA’s Member Services. This brings an expertise in ensuring that staff in these vital roles have more streamlined processes, adequate training and resources.
These structural changes build on key hires made in the last year to lead the Crisis Line, including a director with extensive clinical social work background.
As a part of the MyVA initiative, the largest restructuring in the department’s history, the VA has made improvements at the Veterans Crisis Line a key priority. By the end of this year, every veteran in crisis will have his or her call promptly answered by an experienced VA responder. That will mean non-core calls will be directed appropriately to other VA entities that can best address their questions or concerns.
Veterans in crisis may contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1. They can also text or chat with trained professionals online at veteranscrisisline.net.