Roe Statement on Report of Veterans Crisis Line Continued Failures
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement in response to the newly released Office of Inspector General (OIG) report revealing continued failures of the Veterans Crisis Line:
"It's unacceptable that the issues with the Veterans Crisis Line have still not been addressed, and I hope Secretary Shulkin will take immediate steps to correct these serious shortcomings. The Veterans Crisis Line is intended to be the first line of defense against veteran suicide, and we must ensure calls are being answered by a trained professional in a timely manner. I am extremely frustrated by the OIG's findings and will continue to conduct oversight so the men and women who answered the call to serve have their calls answered when they need help the most."
Note: On September 26, 2016, the House unanimously approved H.R. 5392, the No Veterans Crisis Line Calls Should Go Unanswered Act. H.R. 5392 requires the VA to develop a plan to ensure each telephone call and text message to the VA crisis line is answered by a qualified call center operator in a timely manner. On September 29, 2016, Roe joined former Chairman Miller in sending a letter to then-Secretary McDonald on the Veterans Crisis Line. The letter, found here, requests an explanation from the secretary detailing how the VA plans to hold employees like those mentioned in the report accountable.