VA Improving Veterans Crisis Line to Prevent More Veteran Suicides

Crisis LineOn February 11, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General released a report regarding their assessment of complaints against the Veterans Crisis Line office in Canandaigua. The complaints against this office included calls not being answered, untrained staff, and lack of backup responders. A review of the center’s data from FY 2014-2015 and a site visit on April 6, 2015 yielded confirmation of these issues.

Since the inspection, the VA has implemented a comprehensive plan to strengthen the Veterans Crisis Line. In the year since the discovery of these deficiencies during the review, the VA has done the following:

  • Hired new directors with clinical backgrounds and/or call center experience
  • Assessed time-based need for more responders to be on staff
  • Improved staff training with dedicated training managers and better programs
  • Invested in new technology to upgrade phone systems and handle increased call volume
  • Expanded the physical center’s operational work area to create 45 new responder workstations

With the release of the report this month, the VA has also released a new list of improvements currently in the works.

  • Adding 68 more responders to the crisis line workforce
  • Increasing internal capacity to handle incoming calls by strengthening third-party contracting management
  • Continuing improvements to phone system technology and internal tools
  • Continuing assessment of new training programs and work processes to ensure trained crisis responders are available in times of a veteran’s need

Since its inception in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has saved over 53,000 lives through its services.

Suicide is One of the Leading Causes of Preventable Death Among Veterans

According to TIME Magazine, 22 veterans commit suicide each day; many of these deaths are preventable through help and intervention. Veterans Help Group provides legal counsel to veterans with denied disability claims.

Before you seek an appeal, talk to our veterans’ disability attorneys. Call us at 855-855-8992 or contact us online to schedule a consultation regarding your right to veterans’ disability benefits.