VA Crisis Hotline: “Please hold for the next available counselor. “*click*

| November 17, 2023


“Your call is important to us.”

Vets calling crisis line get lost in system, whistleblowers warn

By Leo Shane III

A key Senate Republican is demanding a full investigation into whistleblowers’ accusations that Veterans Crisis Line staffers are ignoring calls from some hostile or problematic veterans rather than providing prompt emergency mental health care.

In a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs leadership sent Tuesday, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee ranking member Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said the allegations represent “gross mismanagement creating a danger to the health and safety of veterans nationwide.”

Republican committee staffers said officials from the Government Accountability Office have already committed to investigating the claims, filed by multiple current and former staffers of the suicide prevention hotline to Moran’s office in recent weeks.

Veterans Affairs officials did not respond to requests for comment on the whistleblower complaints.

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Whistleblowers told Senate staff that extra workload has prompted leadership at the Veterans Crisis Line to establish a special unit designed to handle “callers with complex needs.” Individuals who present erratic or hostile behavior towards VA staff can be sent to those specialists instead of going to the next available worker.

But whistleblowers said the special unit is understaffed, and many of those rerouted calls are simply dropped or lost.

Military Times

Vets in a crisis mode call a VA crisis hot line to be shunted off to specialists who are qualified to handle a crisis. If one happens to be available of course. If there is a need for a poster child of Government Health Care in action look no farther.

Category: Government Incompetence, Veteran Health Care

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fm2176

I can’t imagine the level of not only training, but patience and ability to communicate, and more importantly, listen to anyone in crisis. As the holidays approach and our scheduling is more jacked up than ever, I’m more and more irascible, but still try to remain polite and professional. I wouldn’t want to deal with me if I felt a need to call a hotline.

If you take the job, do the job. If you can’t handle a hot-tempered, highly depressed, and/or foul-mouthed Vet who took the initiative to call your hotline, seek other employment.

The “complex needs” are truly complex. We Vets have experienced things that often take a toll on our mental health. We also like to think we’re resilient…until we realize we’re not. Some, like me, sought assistance for anxiety and depression while still serving. Others view seeking help as a sign of weakness and may call the Crisis Line at the absolute last minute, when they’ve given up hope or gotten to their boiling point. Unfortunately, still others seek a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If someone is in crisis, do your damned job. If you need to escalate it to someone better qualified to handle “complex needs”, do a proper handoff and if no one else is available, do your best. It’s nonsense like this that deters Veterans from using resources in place to keep them around just a bit longer. Funny, it’s almost like a passive method of offering euthanasia like the VA’s Canadian equivalent allegedly did.

Anonymous

Watch, the VA will argue suicide is “cost-effective” soon.

KoB

“…do your damned job.” Nailed it! Not only as individuals, but also as an organization. Sadly, this is not just a problem with the VA, but in other places too, whether it be health care or making widgets. Home training from the very FIRST (ht2 Tox) and the following of the advice given by Marse Robert; “Do your duty in all things…you can never do more and you should never do less.”

Just got off the phone with the local health care provider for a Lady Friend. A request for the renewal of her BP Med was called in by the pharmacy this past Monday. Renewal had not been done yet and the NP was off today. I politely but firmly let them know that it had to be done TODAY! We’ll see how that works out.

SFC D

“We also like to think we’re resilient…until we realize we’re not.”
Males in general and veterans in particular conflate “resilience” with “holding all the stress reactions inside until the lid blows off”.  Yeahhhh been there done that. Had to change a lot of things to regain control. It can be done.

Blaster

Absolutely!!! I’ve “blown-up” over very minor things. It was actually just the LAST thing in long line of minor things that I just kept holding in, until BAM!!

My wife has learned, over 28 years, to spot it before it happens and is able to help. Funny thing is that at first it actually pissed me off worse because I didn’t like being “handled”. I have since grown up and appreciate the love.

Blaster

I found out the other day that a conversation that I had about a year ago, with a colleague- now a friend, actually pulled him “off of the ledge”. He was about to end it, but during our talk, he realized that he was not alone and that we had some similar stories/experiences. We have since become friends and talk often. At the time, I had no idea that he was going through some rough times.

I was (am) happy that i helped him, but it also scared the hell out of me because I realized, I never knew! And it could happen again one day. I hope and pray that I always remember that we never know, and I hope and pray that I don’t screw it ip if it ever happens again.

Weird that as Soldiers, we know that we a part of a “unit”, and we are the people that tend to look for the hard way so that we can test and prove ourselves, but for some reason, we tend to think that we are alone when “it gets quiet”.

Forest Bondurant

Just more proof why the government shouldn’t be involved healthcare, and certainly not mental health care.

Fuck the VA.

OAM

And yet, the VA is the largest mental health care provider in the nation. Then we wonder why veterans mental health care is bollucksed up. It’s almost like, we have to keep telling ourselves and everyone else that veterans are all screwy to justify our continued existence. Actually caring for and helping veterans “fix” themselves, or worse, challenging the notion that because veterans tend to view life differently than civilians isn’t a veteran problem, it is a civilian problem? <Gasp> No! How dare you threaten our narrative! Just listen to how unhinged they are on the phone!

Anonymous

Democrats’ vision for gov’t-run healthcare.

Last edited 8 months ago by Anonymous
Graybeard

Bureaucratic efficiency at its finest.

I wonder if there is an internal Blue Falcon recognition these folks are working to achieve?

Anonymous

It’s their primary rating criteria.
comment image

Anonymous

If you’re thinking of killing or hurting yourself with a firearm, Press 1; with a rope, Press 2 …

Last edited 8 months ago by Anonymous
Green Thumb

As they put you on the secret “dangerous” list and deny you medications based on file and record review.

No surprise here.

Forest Bondurant

Then you receive a knock on the door because the local LEO’s are checking up on you, with a court order to remove any firearms from your residence… being that the phone call garnered notification to the FBI and such.

Anonymous

There’s “no shame in seeking help” but we’ll jack your life up worse than a felony conviction if you do.

And they wonder why nobody does.

Last edited 8 months ago by Anonymous
Blaster

Just hang a “free Palestine” sign in your front yard and they’ll leave you alone!

OAM

First – call takers are, for the most part, at best BA level with about 6 weeks training. A very large part of that training is “How to justify being instantly, personally offended, as in, what I don’t have to put up with”.

Someone is swearing and cursing, even at you? Calmly tell them to calm down, change their language or you will disconnect. Because yelling and cursing at you is all about you.

Sheesh. Grow up and suck it up and just listen for a moment. Maybe you’ll find out they’ve been dismissed multiple times by some snowflake in person for daring to demand they do their job. Maybe you’ll find they just need to vent. Maybe you’ll find out that listening, not getting reactive and maintaining your own dignity, will actually settle the situation.

Are there occasional callers who, no matter what, don’t want help and just want to abuse someone? Then, do yourself and the world, literally, a favor and let them do it. It doesn’t hurt you, it’s not about you, they don’t know you, and having vented their spleen, perhaps they won’t do so on someone else. Yes, getting abusive calls is part of the job. But the snowflake brigade hires underqualified emotional children who now have to be protected from the crazy veterans.

Set up a special department, fail to staff it, problem solved for the snowflakes. The idea that the incompetent snowflakes allowed to flourish in the system are the root of the problem seems to escape the VA. Maybe because that is a feature, not a bug.

David

My aunt worked for VA for decades as a psychologist – sitting in a small room with chain-smoking vets on the edge. She helped a bunch of ’em, and it cost her – never smoked in her life and died from COPD.

A Proud Infidel®™

Put the Government in charge and:

“*BRING!*, Suicide Hotline, please hold, …”

Anonymous

“You call is important to us… your expected waiting time is… ninety-seven minutes… “

MarineDad61

Another type of “VA Hotline”.
Here is the Fu of Google for “VA Fraud Hotline”.
Can anyone determine the correct number to call, on the 1st guess?

https://www.google.com/search?q=va+fraud+hotline