Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) June 16, 2020 – Since the coronavirus crisis started and strict lockdowns and social distancing guidelines were implemented, calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veteran Crisis Line have risen. The crisis line is a suicide-prevention tool designed to connect veterans who are experiencing a mental health crisis with VA professionals and services that can help them.
The call line has had a 12 percent increase in call volume since the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading in the United States. Twenty percent of calls have been related to the coronavirus crisis.
“In such an uncertain time in our history, it is important to look out for our veterans who may be struggling more than most,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans. He continued, “Mental health is an area of concern for many veterans, and issues may be exacerbated by the isolation of social distancing guidelines and the stress of a global pandemic.”
The VA is monitoring staff levels and tracking call volume to be sure to keep up with demand so that no call to the crisis line goes unanswered. There is concern that the suicide rate among veterans, which is already much higher than average, will climb even more during the COVID-19 outbreak. Even though VA facilities have cancelled most nonemergent appointments, mental health services have moved to online and phone options.
Mental health consultations by phone were up four times the average rate, with around 40,000 phone appointments in February and then 154,000 conducted in March. Mental health appointment held via online video chat also spiked. There were 20,000 video chat appointments in February and 34,000 in March, plus another 2,700 group therapy sessions held by video chat.
VA healthcare providers urge patients to keep their mental health appointments, even if they are conducted through alternate means.
Veterans in crisis, or their families, are encouraged to contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, choose option 1 to speak with a VA staff member, or text the crisis line at 838255. An option to chat online is available at veteranscrisisline.net
Legal Help for Veterans is a veteran owned and operated law firm cased in Northville, Michigan. It exclusively serves veterans with VA disability claims.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
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