A new Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) call center is opening today by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Topeka, Kansas. This is the third call center of this type in the US, and the VA expects to hire 100 employees to staff the center.
“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 new call center opens this fall and gives the VA more capacity to expand its “PRESS 7” feature. This function allows anyone in need to pick up a VA phone, hit 7 and they’re connected directly to the VCL. It’s already available at all VA Medical Centers, but right now anyone at the VA’s Vet Centers or Community Based Outpatient Clinics must dial (800) 273-8255 then press 1 to get the same support.
Since it began in 2007, the VCL has answered over 3 million calls and dispatched emergency services to callers more than 84,000 times. After the chat feature came on-line in 2009 and the text service in 2001, about 359,000 chat and 78,000 text requests have been answered.
To apply for one of these new jobs, you can go here or search for announcement #10046052 at www.usajobs.gov. These new positions are open to anyone with a master’s degree in a health science or prior comparable experience.