Responder Howard Hill, who is a former Marine, listens to a caller at the VA’s crisis hotline call center in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. BRANDEN CAMP / SPECIAL

New Atlanta call center to help suicidal veterans

The facility has been taking calls since October and is one of two call centers in the country that serves veterans who are suicidal or who are experiencing some other crisis.

About 20 veterans end their life everyday, according to VA statistics. The veterans crisis line call center in upstate New York was the subject of a 2015 Oscar winning documentary, but the hotline has also faced criticism for long hold times and calls rolling over to voice mail.

The Atlanta center, which will have about 300 employees when it is fully staffed, is opening to help reduce rollover calls and get veterans the timely help they need.

The Veterans Crisis Line number is 1-800-273-8255 Press 1. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help veterans in crisis and their families. Those in need can also text the crisis line at 838255 or live chat through the crisis line website at this link.

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