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CVA: “Trust, But Verify” that Crisis Hotline is Being Fixed

By Concerned Veterans for America

Arlington, VA – Later this morning the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (HVAC) will hold a full committee oversight hearing to assess ongoing concerns regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs Crisis Line (VCL). The hearing comes on the heels of a VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report released earlier this month revealing continued failures and widespread negligence under the VCL at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The report found that some backup call centers used a queuing process that may lead veterans to perceive they were on hold, and that VCL leadership had not established expectations or targets for queued call times, or thresholds for taking action on queue times.

In response to the report, VA Secretary Shulkin issued a statement asserting that “the challenges with the Veterans Crisis Line have been resolved.”

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:

“30 percent of calls being rolled over at the Veterans Crisis line is unacceptable – it should be zero percent. We trust that Secretary Shulkin has taken steps to fix the ongoing issues at the hotline, but aggressive congressional oversight is needed to ensure that permanent solutions have taken hold. CVA commends the HVAC for investigating the status of this program – veterans’ lives will continue to be lost if this issue is not completely resolved.”