Veterans Crisis Line Keeps Up with New Call Center, Scheduling & Training
The Veterans Crisis Line launched nearly 11 years ago and in that time, it has handled over three million phone calls. Additionally, it has dispatched emergency services for clients facing crisis approximately 78,000 times. Support is offered 24/7/365, including anonymous chat, which was implemented in 2009 and texting, a service started in 2011. Between those two avenues, over 444,000 chats and texts have been answered.
For Veterans, this is a dependable and reliable source of assistance; so viable that in 2016, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act, went into effect. The goal is to keep the call center properly staffed to not only abide by the 2016 but to ensure the safety of the men and women who have been in combat.
Training is extremely intense and services are constantly upgraded to work with an ever-changing society. As of now, there are only two call centers that have helped with the three million calls but a third one is on its way. In September 2017, it was announced a new call center would open in Topeka, Kansas to join the others in Canandaigua, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia.
As of now, only .07 percent of calls to the VCL were transferred to non-VA crisis line operators but that should continue to drop with the third call center. Over 500 responders are prepared for any extent of emergency and there are direct locations in various cities for veterans to go to for emergency situations. The call center schedules to support peak call volumes.
The most important issue is tracking the highest call volume times and ensuring that the centers are fully staffed to keep the veteran promise. If schedules are faulty and ignored, so will veterans and we owe them a great deal for what they sacrificed.
Edited by Maurice Nagle