VA Suicide Hotline Fails Vets

It is tragic that 40 or more veterans died while waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA alone, but at least public outrage motivated the Feds to get the VA into shape. The Commander in Chief himself said he “will not tolerate” any more misconduct. So 2 years later, vets must be getting the support they deserve. Or maybe not:

More than a third of troubled veterans are not getting through to the best trained suicide-hotline staffers because of poor work habits at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ call center, according to VA emails obtained by USA TODAY.

Some workers handle only one to five calls each day and leave before their shifts end even though phone lines have gotten busier, the emails say. As a result, 35% to 50% of the calls roll over to back-up centers where workers have less training to deal with the emotional problems of former servicemembers.

Some desperate vets have been getting dumped to voicemail, but at least that might be better than reaching VA psychiatrist Gregg Gorton, a self-styled expert on suicide prevention who last year via Facebook told a gun rights advocate (i.e., an advocate of one of the key liberties vets have fought to preserve) to “off yourself, please.”

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Big Government is not something you want to count on.

Phoenix-VA
Good enough for government work.

On tips from Troy. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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