White House VA Hotline ‘resolved’ over 140,000 calls for help

Matt Saintsing
January 17, 2019 - 2:53 pm

Photo by Army Sgt. Steven Galimore, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade

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The White House VA hotline has resolved over 140,000 calls and emails since June, Secretary Robert Wilkie said during his state of the VA address on Thursday. 

The direct line connects veterans to VA employees who are there to answer their needs “any time of day, every day of the year,” he said. Wait times average just seven seconds, with most calls lasting 15-minutes. 

Suicide prevention remains the department’s most urgent clinical priority, but Wilkie added that the agency is taking a “public health approach that looks beyond the veteran” to prevent suicidal behavior before it occurs. 

“We want to educate, empower and mobilize as many of you as we can to join in veteran suicide prevention efforts,” he said. “Suicide is a national public health issue that affects communities across America.” 

Additionally, VA has over 400 suicide prevention teams—75 percent of whom are veterans or related to one— charged with connecting vets with care and education. 

Still, with all of the resources of the department brought to bear, Wilkie reminded veterans are their own could be what their friends need to hear. “Preventing suicide begins with just the willingness to be there,” he said. 

Veterans can call the White House VA hotline at 1-855-948-2311 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

There are also helpful, qualified VA responders standing by to help by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. 

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