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VA outsourcing veterans crisis line to another country

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 22:41:03-04
Imagine being at the end of your rope and you're calling a suicide hotline and you get put on hold.
Or you finally get a person to help and it's someone who may have a thick accent and be difficult to understand.
That's the situation many of our veterans have been facing.
Ed Wagner of the Federation of Southern Arizona Veterans says the VA is outsourcing its veterans crisis line to operators who may not be adequately trained to handle calls.
Some operators may be located in another country.
September is Suicide Awareness Month and this issue remains a sharp concern for veterans.
A new VA study finds 20 veterans commit suicide each day.
"At some point there has to be an outcry. There's been so much that's been reported that so wrong. At what point is there going to be an outcry. How many more veterans have to die before somebody is going to get off their butt," said Wagner.
Wagner reached out to Senator McCain's office.
They were able to confirm that the VA is contracting out the crisis line as a back up.
The VA says no contractors will be used after the end of this calendar year.
Senator John McCain's spokeswoman released this statement about McCain's view on this problem:
Senator McCain believes this is just another example of the VA mismanaging its resources and failing to provide veterans the critical care they need. He believes all who have served, especially those struggling with mental health issues, should receive support and assistance from individuals trained and prepared to help veterans -- not be redirected to generic crisis hotline workers with little preparation to deal with veterans' unique and complex experiences.