Veterans call suicide hotline, get voicemail; abhorrent practices come to light

hotlineMakers of a new and disturbing documentary are hoping to shed light on the Department of Veterans Affairs which has been mired in corruption and ineptitude for years.

The HBO award winning film titled “Crisis Hotline” highlights the often deadly consequences associated with a bureaucracy run amok when it comes to America’s most valued treasures – its veterans.

“American veterans are killing themselves at a rate of 22 a day, nearly one every hour,” the documentary states.

Pete Hegseth has been researching the VA, and joined “Fox & Friends” to elaborate on its abhorrent practices. He said “large numbers” of calls to the VA suicide hotline are being rerouted to voicemail. Hegseth worries what that does to the psyche of a veteran already on the brink of suicide.

Post-traumatic stress disorder and other hidden injuries attribute to rocketing suicide rates. Veterans who call the hotline are supposed to talk to a comforting, hopefully lifesaving, human voice — not be dismissed with a voicemail.

Hegseth stressed that the operators are not at fault, and are doing their best to field as many calls as possible; the problem is they simply don’t have enough man-power to handle the volume.

The VA’s utter ineffectiveness comes from the top.

“It’s the bureaucracy that, on top of all of this, is incapable of delivering quality service,” he explained.

“Just the thought of a veteran who’s suicidal getting a voicemail – this is a powerful depiction of what a lot of vets face.”

The panel discusses ways to improve the system, which could include increased competition with the private market. While we still have one.


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