Veterans Crisis Line: Further Efforts Needed to Improve Service, Statement for the Record by Seto J. Bagdoyan, Director, Forensic Audits and Investigative Service and Randall B. Williamson, Director, Health Care, Statement for the Record on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives [open pdf - 237KB]
"VA [Department of Veterans Affairs] established the VCL [Veterans Crisis Line] in July 2007 to provide support to veterans in emotional crisis. Between fiscal years 2008, its first full year of operation, and 2015, the number of calls received by the VCL increased almost 700 percent, exceeding VA's expectations. As VA began to address increasing numbers of requests for assistance, reports of dissatisfaction with VCL's service periodically appeared in the media. This statement summarizes GAO's [Government Accountability Office] May 2016 report on VA's oversight of the VCL. Specifically, the statement describes (1) the extent to which VA met response-time goals for VCL calls and text messages, (2) how VA monitored VCL primary center call center operations, and (3) how VA worked with VCL service partners to help ensure veterans receive high- quality service. For the May 2016 report, GAO visited the VCL's primary center and two backup call centers; tested VCL response time through a generalizable sample of covert telephone calls and a nongeneralizable sample of text messages in July and August 2015; reviewed internal reports and policies and plans; and interviewed VA officials. GAO contacted VA and SAMHSA [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] for an update on actions taken in response to the report's recommendations."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/