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The Veterans Crisis Line Helps Veterans and Their Families

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or know a Veteran who is, support is here. It’s only a phone call, click, or text away. This help is here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And the support is confidential.

A free service, staffed by trained VA responders

The Veterans Crisis Line is a phone, online chat, and text-messaging service. It’s free to all Veterans. It’s free even if you are not registered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It’s free even if you are not enrolled in VA health care. Hundreds of Veterans call us every day, and start to get back on track.

The Veterans Crisis Line is staffed by caring, trained VA responders. Many of these people are Veterans, too. They understand what Veterans have been through. They know the challenges Veterans face, for all ages and in all service eras.

The VA can help

Crisis feels different for everybody. It can happen from a wide range of situations. Problems can happen before, during, or after military service. Some Veterans are coping with aging, stress, or other challenges in civilian life. Others may have problems in their relationships. Or they may have issues returning to work or education.

Veterans may be facing problems such as:

  • Chronic pain

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Sleeplessness

  • Anger

  • Homelessness

No matter what your crisis is, a Veterans Crisis Line responder can give support, day or night.

Family and caregivers can also use the service

Family, friends, and caregivers are often the first to realize a Veteran may be in crisis and need support. The Veterans Crisis Line is trained to help Veterans’ families and friends make sure their loved ones get care they need. The VA offers a network of support for all Veterans and their families and friends.

Are you a Veteran’s spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, or caregiver? The Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a Veteran, stand by him or her. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1. Or chat online at Or you can send a text message to 838255. Any of these three methods will connect you to free support. You will be helped by an experienced, caring VA responder. This service is confidential.

Helping prevent suicide

The VA is committed to reducing Veteran suicide. Each VA Medical Center has a Suicide Prevention Coordinator or team to offer Veterans the services they need. Veterans Crisis Line responders can also refer calls to Suicide Prevention Coordinators. These trained people will follow up with Veterans and organize care they need. Care is available for many issues. A Veteran may have PTSD or depression. He or she may have readjustment problems. Or sleep problems may be making life difficult. The VA has resources to help with all of these issues.

Suicide Prevention Coordinators and VA partners work to get the message out to Veterans and communities about the VA’s suicide prevention resources. The VA has two centers that focus on suicide research. These centers study factors that may add to suicide risk. The centers also develop and test public health strategies and clinical interventions  for suicide prevention. The centers are:

  • VISN 19 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in Denver, Colorado

  • VISN 2 Center of Excellence in Canandaigua, New York, which also houses the Veterans Crisis Line and online chat

For more information about the VA’s suicide prevention and mental health resources, go to




Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 2/1/2019
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