Calls centers established to help veterans in crisis are still failing to answer calls for help in a timely fashion, according to a new government oversight report disclosing that some veterans are still not receiving help in times of crisis.
Government investigators with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) "found that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) did not meet its call response-time goals for the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL)," according to the report that found issues with the center's text messaging line and live call centers.
The VA crisis centers are supposed to answer 90 percent of crisis calls within 30 seconds. An investigation of covert calls to the centers found that this goal is still not being met, according to the report, which found that just 65 to 75 percent of calls were answered in the required time.
Text messages to the center were not responded to in 4 of 14 instances.
"Specifically, 119 covert test calls showed that an estimated 73 percent of calls made during this period were answered within 30 seconds," according to the report. "GAO also covertly tested the VCL's text messaging services and found that 4 of 14 GAO test text messages did not receive responses."
Answering calls in a timely fashion is of critical importance when dealing with veterans with mental health crises. The VA's failure to meet established standards shows that some veterans are still falling through the cracks.
Once an incompetent federal agency, always an incompetent federal agency. The VA's repeated failures prove that the feds can't be trusted to complete even their most basic responsibilities -- and a new administration can't fix the broken system. Only a Convention of States can address the heart of the issue: the feds have too much power. Click here for more information.