The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Suicide Prevention Hotline has handled thousands of calls since its inception. Not all of those callers, however, were considering suicide at the time of their call. There are likely thousands of other soldiers not necessarily considering suicide, in need of help nonetheless, and do not call the Suicide Prevention Hotline because they don’t feel their problem is “severe” enough to call a suicide help line.
Others will not call because of the stigma attached to being associated with suicide. It is this demographic the VA is attempting to reach by changing the hotline’s name.
The VA has recently changed the name of the hotline to The Veterans Crisis Line. For many veterans seeking help, making the first call is usually the hardest because of the stigma, shame, and embarrassment unfortunately associated with calling a suicide prevention hotline. The VA, recognizing that veterans can face a myriad of crises, has shifted the line to cover a broad spectrum of issues.
The VA also hopes the new line will attract more calls from veterans’ family members seeking help for either the veteran in their lives or themselves. Although many calls are from older veterans, there is a noticeable increase in the amount of younger veterans struggling and needing help.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.