Veterans Crisis Line

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Dial 1-800-273-8255, press 1 - or - Confidential LIVE CHAT Confidential LIVE CHATText to 838255
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Dial 1-800-273-8255, press 1 Dial 1-800-273-8255, press 1 Text to 838255

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If you or a Veteran you know is in crisis, find a facility near you.

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FAQs
  1. What is the Veterans Crisis Line, online chat, and text message service?

    The Veterans Crisis Line is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resource that connects Veterans and Service members in crisis and their families and friends with information and qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat, and text messaging service. Veterans and their families and friends can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net, or send a text message to 838255 to receive support from specially trained professionals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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  2. Who can use the Veterans Crisis Line, online chat, and text messaging service?

    Any Veteran or Service member in crisis, or any person concerned about one, can call the confidential Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message.

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  3. Can I call the Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message if I am not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care?

    Yes. Any Veteran or Service member can use the Veterans Crisis Line, even if you are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care and regardless of your discharge status.

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  4. How do I know when I should call the Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message?

    You should call the Veterans Crisis Line, log onto the online chat, or send a text message if you are a Veteran or Service member experiencing an emotional crisis or know one who is, especially when concerned about the risk of physical harm. Please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, use the online chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net, or send a text message to 838255 immediately if you or a Veteran or Service member you know is experiencing any of the following warning signs:

    • Hopelessness; feeling like there’s no way out
    • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, mood swings
    • Feeling like there is no reason to live
    • Rage or anger
    • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
    • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
    • Withdrawing from family and friends

    The presence of the following signs requires immediate attention:

    • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
    • Looking for ways to kill yourself
    • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
    • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

    Even if there is no immediate danger, the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. Crisis feels different for everybody and can stem from a wide range of situations. Some Veterans are coping with aging, stress, relationship problems, financial or legal issues, or lingering effects stemming from their military service, which were never addressed. Some Veterans have difficulty with their relationships or the transition back to civilian life.

    Whatever’s got you down—chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, anger, or even homelessness—a Veterans Crisis Line responder can provide support, day or night.

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  5. How do I use the Veterans Crisis Line, online chat, or text message service?

    You can confidentially connect with the Veterans Crisis Line by phone, the Internet, or text message. Simply call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to be immediately connected with a trained VA responder, go to www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat to chat online, or send a text message to 838255.

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  6. Why do I need to Press 1 if I call the Veterans Crisis Line?

    The Veterans Crisis Line is operated through a partnership between VA and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. By dialing 1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1, you will be immediately connected to a VA professional who is specially trained to handle emotional crises for Veterans and Service members. VA responders are also able to provide referrals to local VA facilities and aid Veterans in getting fast-tracked mental health care within VA.

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  7. What happens if I don’t Press 1?

    If you do not press 1 after dialing 1-800-273-8255, your call is routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of more than 140 crisis centers nationwide. Trained counselors answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the crisis center that is geographically closest to the call.

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  8. Is there a cost to call the Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message?

    No. The phone number, online chat, and text messaging are all free services for Veterans, Service members, and their friends and families. For those serving in Europe, a toll free number has been set up: 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118. This service may not be available from all carriers or countries.

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  9. Who answers my call to the Veterans Crisis Line, responds to my online chats, or answers my text messages?

    VA crisis responders answer calls, chats, and text messages to the Veterans Crisis Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some responders are Veterans, and all responders are trained to counsel Veterans and Service members specifically. If all the VA responders are busy talking to others, the call is routed to counselors at a back-up center at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, who are also trained to support Veterans and Service members.

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  10. Can I contact the Veterans Crisis Line even if I am already receiving care from VA or another health care professional?

    Yes. If you prefer, a Veterans Crisis Line responder can help coordinate care with your regular health care providers.

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  11. What happens when I call the Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message?

    When you call the Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message, you will receive direct, immediate support from a trained VA responder. Responders are here to listen to you, and they care about what you have to say. They will work with you to provide support and may ask basic questions about your location to determine the best course of action. Responders can provide referrals for VA services and help fast-track appointments with a VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator.

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  12. What happens after I call the Veterans Crisis Line, use the online chat, or send a text message?

    After your conversation, the VA responder can put you in contact with a VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator or other health provider in your area. If you want to meet with your local coordinator or a community-based counselor, the Veterans Crisis Line responder will ask a few questions, including where you live and if you are able to travel to a VA medical facility. If you decide to meet with your Suicide Prevention Coordinator, you will receive a follow-up call to schedule an appointment.

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  13. Do I have to give my name or share personal information when I contact the Veterans Crisis Line?

    No. It is your choice whether or not to share personal information. However, if you decide to get support from a VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator, the Veterans Crisis Line responder may ask for your name and some personal information to help set up a meeting.

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  14. If I do share personal information when I contact the Veterans Crisis Line, will it be kept confidential?

    Yes. Information you provide will not be shared unless you give a responder permission to share it or indicate that you would like to receive care after the call, chat, or text session. However, if you are in imminent danger or at risk of harming others, a rescue will be coordinated with local officials.

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  15. Is the Veterans Crisis Line online chat secure? Can someone see or use my information without my permission when I’m using it?

    The Veterans Crisis Line online chat service is secure and only the VA responder will be able to see your information while you are in a chat session.

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  16. What should I do if I have trouble connecting when I call, use the online chat, or send a text message?

    If you have trouble connecting with the Veterans Crisis Line, please check your phone or Internet connection. If you are in a medical emergency or suicidal crisis and cannot connect, please call 911.

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  17. Should I contact the Veterans Crisis Line for general questions about VA benefits?

    No. For information about health care benefits, please call VA’s toll-free benefits number at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). For more information about VA benefits and to access a list of VA’s toll-free benefits phone numbers, please go to www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/benefits_contacts.asp

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  18. Why should I enroll for VA health care benefits?

    Veterans should enroll for health care benefits to ensure they receive the comprehensive benefits package offered through VA’s national health care system. VA offers comprehensive medical care, including any necessary medical outpatient and inpatient services.

    Veterans can apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ, which takes about 15 minutes. VA will then process the online or mail-in application. The 10-10EZ can be obtained by visiting, calling, or writing to any VA health care facility or Veterans benefits office. Please visit the Resource Locator at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/gethelp/resourcelocator to find the facility nearest you.

    Veterans can also call toll-free 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or access the form on the Internet at www.va.gov (click on online applications). Veterans can receive only emergency services until their enrollment is processed.

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  19. What mental health resources are available from VA?

    Mental health services are available at 132 medical centers as well as mental health outpatient services in 689 medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics. In addition, VA offers readjustment counseling services for Veterans and their families at 209 Vet Centers across the nation. Veterans with a serious mental illness are seen at facilities and clinics where specialized programs such as mental health intensive case management, day centers, work programs, and psychosocial rehabilitation are provided. Please visit the Resource Locator on www.VeteransCrisisLine.net to find the facility nearest you.

    For information about mental health and VA services and benefits pertaining to mental health, please visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov or the Make the Connection website at www.MakeTheConnection.net

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  20. What is the connection between the Veterans Crisis Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline?

    In 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line was established as a partnership among VA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In 2009, VA added an online chat option to the Veterans Crisis Line hotline, and a text messaging service was launched in 2011.

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Suicide Prevention Lifeline U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA)

The Veterans Crisis Line text-messaging service does not store mobile phone numbers of users who access information via text message (SMS) or any personally identifiable information about users without their permission. Message and data rates may apply. Click here to view the full terms of service.