Veterans Affairs is opening a new crisis call center in Topeka, Kansas, and officials expect to hire 100 employees to staff the center, located on the campus of VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System.
This is the third such center nationwide, joining two centers in Canandaigua, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia.
The new call center, expected to open this fall, gives the Veterans Crisis Line additional capacity as VA expands its automatic transfer function, Press 7, to its community-based outpatient clinics and vet centers.
“When it comes to preventing veteran suicide, we will do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for veterans to reach us,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The new center in Topeka gives us more feet on the ground and an easier way for veterans to connect with us when they need us most.”
The Press 7 function is already available at VA Medical Centers and provides immediate access to the crisis line from a main phone tree. Currently, community-based outpatient clinic and vet center phone systems do not provide that option, forcing veterans to take an added step by dialing 800-273-8255, and then pressing 1.
Since its launch in 2007, the VCL has answered more than 3 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent crisis more than 84,000 times. Since launching chat capabilities in 2009 and text services in November 2011, the VCL has answered nearly 359,000 and 78,000 requests for chat and text services, respectively.
For more information or to apply for openings at the new call center, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/478700400
and search for announcement No. 10046052. The positions are open to applicants with prior comparable experience or a master’s degree in a health science, such as mental health, social work or psychology.
Veterans in crisis can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year at 800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255. (Courtesy of VA News)