Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VA crisis hotline takes record number of calls, no one asks why?

Will anyone else ever ask why so many reach the point they have to call in the first place? With all the programs and money invested in helping them when they come home, the numbers go up instead of down. What is going on here? More calls to the suicide prevention hotline and more deaths. Any reporters bothering to check into why this is all happening?

VA crisis hotline takes record number of calls
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:01:23 EDT
The Veterans Affairs Department’s Veterans Crisis Line received 14,000 calls in April, the highest monthly volume ever recorded for the four-year-old suicide prevention program.

“Every day last month, more than 400 calls were received,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee chairwoman who disclosed the call volume during a Wednesday hearing. “While it is heartening to know that these calls for help are being answered, it is a sad sign of desperation and difficulties our veterans face that there are so many in need of a lifeline.”

The hotline, established in 2007, is a suicide prevention and crisis counseling program available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number is 800-273-8255.

Antonette Zeiss, VA’s chief mental health officer, said that since the 2007 launch, the call center has received more than 400,000 calls, referred 55,000 veterans to local suicide prevention coordinators for same-day or next-day help and initiated 15,000 “rescues” of callers near suicide.
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VA crisis hotline takes record number of calls

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