Center surpasses prior year’s record, increasing access to more Veterans
News Release, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ recent release of the 2018 data for the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) confirms the call center continues to outpace last year’s metrics by providing faster, more effective assistance to Veterans and their loved ones.
VCL’s fiscal year 2018 performance metrics show that since 2017, the number of calls routed to contingency crisis call centers decreased from 44,263 to 1,056, and the average speed to answer calls decreased from 8.44 seconds to 7.23 seconds.
“The VCL is there for you if you are in crisis, or if you know someone who you think may be going through a difficult time,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VCL provides quick access to trained, caring and qualified responders able to help service members and Veterans through a crisis and link them to local VA suicide prevention coordinators for more support.”
VCL connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with highly trained VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat or text. It is now the largest crisis call center in the world and a recognized leader in call-center intervention services. VCL currently answers nearly one-third of all calls placed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which last year received over 2 million calls.
Since its inception in 2007, VCL responders have answered more than 3.9 million calls, conducted more than 467,000 online chats and responded to more than 123,000 texts. Their efforts have resulted in the dispatch of emergency services nearly 119,000 times to Veterans in need.
Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call VCL for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
Reporters covering this issue should visit www.reportingonsuicide.org for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II