Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2021), 51(2), 263-273. SIEC No: 20230072
Objective Crisis hotlines are an important part of a public health approach to suicide prevention. The Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) provides hotline services to Veterans. There is a paucity of research concerning the effectiveness of the VCL. The current work describes efforts to establish groundwork for VCL effectiveness research. Methods 155 VCL users who were referred to a Veterans Affairs Medical Center Suicide Prevention Team completed interviews including open-ended and closed-ended questions. Outcomes are reported for suicidal participants, non-suicidal participants, and those who had emergency intervention. Thematic analysis was used for open-ended questions. Results Eighty-seven percent of interviewees expressed satisfaction with the VCL, 81.9% reported that the VCL was helpful, and 72.9% said that the VCL helped keep them safe. Of those with suicidal thoughts, 82.6% said the contact helped stop them from killing themselves. Themes are described concerning user identified reasons for VCL contact, most and least helpful aspects of the contact, and suggestions for improvement. Discussion This project demonstrates that this group of people who used the VCL overwhelmingly finds the service to be helpful and a barrier to suicide. Further, implications of user feedback for application to VCL operations and future research are discussed.