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Oscar-Winning Documentary Profiles Suicide Hotline Routing Veterans' Calls to Voicemail

A report has shown that the Veterans Crisis Line let 23 calls go to voicemail. These were from 23 active duty personnel who had to describe their strife to a recording device when they called in 2014. In addition, none of those calls were returned.

This unbelievable incident was the subject of an Oscar-winning short documentary. Furthermore, it was found that the staff in the charity's back-up crisis centers taking calls at peak times were not fully trained in mental health.

The unfortunate event was shared through a Department of Veterans Affairs report on Friday. Officials are now trying to change the center's approach to training and process for receiving calls.

The Veterans Crisis Line was the subject of the 2015 HBO documentary called "Veterans Press 1." The hotline was launched in 2007 and has since taken around two million calls while intervening in over 53,000 cases. At peak times, calls are routed to back-up crisis centers. The staff at the back-up centers do not receive the same level of training as staff at the primary center.

In one year, back-up teams saw an 112 percent increase in calls. The VA Inspector General report stated, "We substantiated allegations that some calls routed to back-up crisis centers were answered by voicemail, and callers did not always receive immediate assistance."

Photo: Youtube

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