When someone calls a crisis hotline, it is because they are in crisis. They are contemplating or on the verge of committing suicide and are reaching out to someone for help. Veterans calling the Obama VA Crisis Hotline, however, were sent a very clear message by the Obama VA. What’s that message?
The Obama VA doesn’t give a crap about our veterans in crisis and could care less if they follow through with that suicide attempt or not.
One would think that after the previous Obama VA Scandal, when it was revealed that veterans died waiting for treatment because VA staff were falsifying records and logs in order to receive bonuses, the VA would be far more diligent in serving the needs of our nation’s veterans. Of course, since no one was ever fired due to the scandal, perhaps it should not be a surprise that problems continued to the point where veterans calling for help as they contemplated suicide would be ignored by the Obama VA.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that in May, more than one-third of all calls for the VA Crisis Hotline rolled over. That means, rather than being answered by an individual highly trained to deal with someone who is suicidal, they were answered by a backup center staffed by people with far less training.
What were the workers who were supposed to answer the calls doing? In short, according to the director of the hotline, they were only answering five or fewer calls a day and leaving their job early despite the increase in phone calls of veterans in crisis.
Greg Hughes, who directed the Veterans Crisis Line until leaving his position in June, said in emails reported by the Associated Press that between 35 and 40 percent of calls from troubled veterans to the hotline in May were not answered by primary staffers and instead roll over to back-up call centers, where they are answered by workers who do not have the same level of training to handle veterans in crisis.
The VA’s goal is to answer 90 percent of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line within 30 seconds, after which they roll over to the back-up call centers.
Hughes reportedly complained in emails that crisis line staffers take less than five calls daily and leave work early despite the count of calls to the hotline increasing.
Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide and the very people who are supposed to be there for them should they reach out for help could give a damn.
This latest VA scandal about the Obama VA Crisis Hotline ignoring veterans in crisis comes out as we near the end of suicide prevention month. Check out what is on the website for the Veterans Crisis Line.
There’s one huge problem with this picture. They are not there for our veterans in crisis, and that is beyond shameful. It’s downright despicable.