Since 2001, more veterans have died by their own hand than in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one veteran dies by suicide in America every 80 minutes. While only 1% of Americans has served in the military, former service members account for 20% of all suicides in the U.S.
Based in Canandaigua, NY and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Veterans Crisis Line receives more than 22,000 calls each month from veterans of all conflicts who are struggling or contemplating suicide due to the psychological wounds of war and the challenges of returning to civilian life.
The timely documentary CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans, as seen through the work of the hotline’s trained responders, who provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members.
After serving their country overseas, many military veterans struggle with post-traumatic stress, depression and addiction. Since 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered about 900,000 calls. CRISIS HOTLINE highlights how its dedicated responders react to a variety of complex calls and handle the emotional aftermath of what can be life-and-death conversations. The film captures these extremely private moments, where the professionals, many of whom are themselves veterans or veterans’ spouses, can often interrupt the thoughts and plans of suicidal callers to steer them out of crisis. Hotline workers sometimes intervene successfully by seizing on the caller’s ambivalence and illuminating his or her reasons for living.
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