Boozman sponsors bill making Veterans Crisis Line easier to access


ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) is one of six senators seeking to reduce veteran suicide by making the dedicated crisis line easier to access.

Boozman joined Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) as the lead Republican sponsor of the Suicide Prevention by Eliminating Excessive Digits Act of 2019.

The act would require the Federal Communication Commission to designate a three-digit dialing code, like 911, for the current Veterans Crisis Line number.

“We’re trying through this call number, and through other means, to get them checked into a system where they can get the help they need,” said Boozman. “There’s a lot of resources there, but you got to get it out to the people who desperately need it.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates more than 20 veterans die by suicide every day in the United States.

Suicide rates are nearly two times higher for veterans than for civilians.

The Veterans Crisis Line — a 24/7 operation created in 2007 — has answered over 3.5 million calls.

The current number for the crisis line is 1-800-273-8255. Press 1 to talk to someone.

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