The Veterans Crisis Line Is Fielding a Record Number of Cries for Help, VA Stats Show

June 16, 2023

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

NBC News

The Veterans Crisis Line is experiencing record call volume. In March of this year, the crisis line received more than 88,000 calls, texts, and chats—the highest number of monthly contacts it has ever had. Its annual contacts have also increased, rising 15 percent between 2020 and 2022. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), these increases are likely tied to multiple factors, including outreach campaigns and the crisis line’s transition to a three-digit number (dial 988 and press 1). Some veterans say the rise is linked to the end of U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which may have prompted trauma to resurface for those that served. It is unclear how many veterans of post-9/11 conflicts have died by suicide. The VA’s most recent suicide prevention report suggests rates have increased among veterans ages 18 to 34 and decreased among all other age groups.

Spark Extra! Read the White House strategy for reducing military and veteran suicide.