May 16, 2016

Senator Gillibrand Urges Senate To Pass Legislation To Provide Full Funding For Veterans Crisis Line

In 2014, more than 76,000 calls to VCL were transferred to a backup center Gillibrand: Our veterans should never be put on hold or sent to voicemail when they’re seeking help

Canandaigua, NY – Standing at the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Center, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today called on the Senate to pass legislation that would provide full funding for the Veterans Crisis Line to hire, train, and staff the call center, and ensure that its facilities and technologies remain up-to-date.

“Every year, a staggering number of veterans contemplate suicide or end up dying by suicide,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These men and women should never be put on hold or sent to voicemail when they’re seeking help. We need to do everything we can to look out for our veterans when they come home. The staff and volunteers at the VCL do extraordinary work every day, and I will continue pushing to make sure they have the full funding they need to do their jobs effectively.”

The Veterans Crisis Line is a 24-hour, toll-free hotline that veterans across the United States can call to connect to a responder trained in crisis management. Since its launch in 2007, through March 2016, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered nearly 2.2 million calls and has initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent crisis more than 58,000 times. The VCL has also answered more than 280,000 chat service requests and more than 51,000 text service requests.

In March 2016, Senator Gillibrand sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging robust funding for the Veterans Crisis Line, to ensure that the program continues to help veterans who are in crisis to the fullest possible extent.