Whistleblowers have raised concerns about the Veterans Crisis Line, a suicide prevention hotline for veterans, troops, and their families. They allege that calls from certain difficult or hostile veterans are being ignored or mishandled, leading to potential dangers to veterans’ health and safety. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee ranking member Jerry Moran has called for a full investigation into these claims, which come amid a significant increase in the Crisis Line’s staff and demand.
- Whistleblower Allegations: Multiple whistleblowers claim that Veterans Crisis Line staffers are not properly handling calls from some veterans, particularly those exhibiting hostile or problematic behavior.
- Expansion and Demand: The Veterans Crisis Line has expanded rapidly, growing from 900 to over 1,800 employees, and has seen increased demand since the introduction of a new dialing system (988) for emergency mental health care.
- Special Handling Unit Understaffed: A special unit created to handle complex calls is reportedly understaffed, resulting in many rerouted calls being dropped or lost.
- Incomplete Record Keeping: There is a lack of clear records on the number of affected callers and unclear rules on when to transfer calls to specialists.
- Crisis Line Services: The Veterans Crisis Line operates 24/7, responding to over 6 million contacts since its inception in 2007 and issuing more than 1 million referrals to local suicide prevention offices.