Smartphone feature provides immediate access to Veterans Crisis Line

“Call the Veterans Crisis Line.”

VA is excited to announce that service members and Veterans can connect to the Veterans Crisis Line using these simple words. The Siri function on Apple’s iPhone and the Google Assistant function on Android phones now automatically dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which also serves the Veterans Crisis Line, even if the number (1-800-273-8255) is not saved in the phone’s contact list. Callers will need to Press 1 in order to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

“Suicide prevention is VA’s top clinical priority, and we are working to reach Veterans where they are to help save lives,” said Dr. Keita Franklin. “The new feature on Apple and Android devices enables service members, Veterans, and their families to get quicker access to our network of certified crisis responders.”

Responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans when mental health or related issues — such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, anger, and homelessness — reach a crisis point.

“Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 3.5 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent crisis nearly 93,000 times,” said Dr. Matt Miller, director of the Veterans Crisis Line. “Since launching chat in 2009 and text services in November 2011, the VCL has answered over 397,000 and nearly 92,000 requests for chat and text services respectively.”

According to Miller, the ease of connecting to the Veterans Crisis Line is the