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Dichter ME, Chhatre S, Hoffmire C, Bellamy S, Montgomery AE, McCoy I. Variation in call volume to the Veterans Crisis Line by women and men veterans prior to and following onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of psychiatric research. 2022 Jul 1; 151:561-563.
OBJECTIVES: To identify trends in volume of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Analysis of call frequency from VCL administrative records for all veteran contacts calling on their own behalf with gender identified from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020. Interrupted time series analysis used to identify potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic on call volume by women and men veteran contacts. RESULTS: Call volume to VCL from veterans increased over time, for both women and men veterans, with no significant change in call volume by women contacts following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decrease in calls by men contacts associated with COVID-19 onset. Call volume varied by month with patterns similar in years prior to and following COVID-19 onset. CONCLUSIONS: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was not associated with a spike in calls by veterans to VCL. The pandemic may have led to an increase in calls by some as well as a decrease in calls by others, leveling out the overall volume trends.