WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies – today applauded the Department of Veterans Affairs’ decision to open a Veterans Crisis Line Call Center at the Topeka VA Medical Center campus.
“I am pleased the VA chose Topeka as the location for its new Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) call center and that the VA is following through on its commitment to meet the needs of veterans in crisis,” said Sen. Moran. “Secretary Shulkin has made suicide prevention a top priority, and expanding the VCL to additional locations and increasing crisis responders is critical to providing veterans with the support they need, when they need it. I will continue working with the VA to make certain no veteran feels abandoned by the country they served when they make the brave decision to seek mental health services.”
Sen. Moran’s work on veteran suicide prevention:
- In April, Sen. Moran chaired an Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies hearing titled, “Preventing Veteran Suicide,” highlighting the importance of outreach to veterans in need, in addition to communicating through this crisis line. The hearing included Military Veterans Project CEO Melissa D. Jarboe and VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System Suicide Prevention Coordinator and Staff Psychologist Stephanie A. Davis, Ph.D., both of Topeka, as witnesses.
- The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies’ FY18 appropriations bill, which passed the full committee in July, increases funding for the Veterans Crisis Line by $10 million.
About the VA Crisis Line (provided by the VA):
- This call center will be the third Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), in addition to the existing call centers in Canandaigua, N.Y. and Atlanta, Ga.
- The new call center, to be located on the campus of VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, will provide support for expansion of the ‘automatic transfer’ function, Press 7, into Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) and Vet centers, improving access to the VCL in the coming months.
- Since the launch of the VCL in 2007, they have answered nearly three million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent crisis nearly 84,000 times. Since launching a chat option in 2009 and text services in 2011, the VCL has engaged on nearly 359,000 chats and more than 78,000 text requests.
- Veterans in crisis may contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. They can also text or chat with our trained professionals online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net.