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Veterans Crisis Line Contacts After the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Rollout.

Strombotne KL, Li Y, Adams RS, Sadej ID, Garrido MM. Veterans Crisis Line Contacts After the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Rollout. American journal of preventive medicine. 2024 Mar 18.

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INTRODUCTION: This study identifies changes in Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) contact volume following the 988 National Suicide Prevention Hotline rollout, and examines changes in contact volume for self-identified Veterans. METHODS: VCL's Medora database was analyzed from July 2018 to June 2023, fitting linear interrupted time series models to forecast trends after the July 2022 rollout of the 988 Suicide Prevention Hotline. Data analysis was performed from 2023 to 2024. RESULTS: After the 988 rollout, average monthly VCL contact volume increased by 5,388 contacts (8.2%). The number of contacts self-identifying as Veterans increased by 2,739 (6.2%), while the percentage of self-identifying Veteran contacts who could be linked to VHA records declined by 3.8%. CONCLUSIONS: The 988 rollout was associated with increased VCL contact volume and broad changes in the profile of users. This underscores the importance of crisis services in adapting to dynamic user needs and highlights the potential of national suicide prevention initiatives to reach diverse populations.

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