How It Works

The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. When you call, chat, or text, a qualified responder will listen and help. You decide how much information to share. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.

When to Call

Veterans and service members in crisis aren’t alone. If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, having thoughts of suicide, or becoming self-destructive, we're ready to help.

Contact us immediately if you or the Veteran or service member in your life is showing signs of crisis, such as:

  • Talking about feeling hopeless
  • Experiencing anxiety or agitation
  • Increasing risky behaviors or substance use

Read More About the Signs of Crisis

What to Expect

  1. A recording will alert you that you've reached the Veterans Crisis Line.
  2. There will be a brief pause while the call is connected to a qualified responder ready to listen and help.
  3. The responder will ask a few questions, such as whether you or the Veteran or service member you’re concerned about may be in immediate danger or at risk for suicide.
  4. Your call is free and confidential, and you decide how much information to share.
  5. If you or the Veteran or service member you’re concerned about is in danger, the responder will help you get through the crisis and then connect you with the services you need, either from your local VA medical center or elsewhere in your community. If you decide to share contact information, the suicide prevention coordinator at the nearest VA medical center will contact you by the next business day.
  6. If you or the Veteran or service member you're concerned about is in crisis but not at imminent risk for injury or suicide, the responder will listen, offer support, and help you make a plan to stay safe.
  7. Afterward you may be connected with your local suicide prevention coordinator, who will contact you the next business day for continued support.
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

  1. Go to VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. Click the button to start your confidential chat.
  2. A new screen will appear, asking for your first name or a nickname so the responder will know how to address you. Click “Send” to start the chat.
  3. A chat box will appear with either a responder ready to chat or a window letting you know that someone will be right with you.
  4. The responder will ask a few questions, such as whether you or the Veteran or service member you’re concerned about may be in immediate danger or at risk for suicide.
  5. Your chat is free and confidential, and you decide how much information to share.
  6. If you or the Veteran or service member you’re concerned about is in danger, the responder will help you get through the crisis and then connect you with the services you need, either from your local VA medical center or elsewhere in your community. If you decide to share contact information, the suicide prevention coordinator at the nearest VA medical center will contact you by the next business day.
  7. If you or the Veteran or service member you're concerned about is in crisis but not at imminent risk for injury or suicide, the responder will listen, offer support, and help you make a plan to stay safe.
  8. Afterward you may be connected with your local suicide prevention coordinator, who will contact you the next business day for continued support.
Chat

  1. Send a text to 838255. You can say as much or as little as you like to get the conversation started.
  2. You will receive a text back that reads: “VA Crisis Center: I'm here to help. If in danger, call 911. For more info, call 800-273-8255. (Press 1). Please keep msgs under 160 characters. STOP to cancel.”
  3. The responder will ask a few questions, such as whether you or the Veteran or service member you’re concerned about may be in immediate danger or at risk for suicide.
  4. Your text is free and confidential, and you decide how much information to share.
  5. You may text STOP at any time to end the conversation. If you do, you will receive this free message in response: “Free Msg: VA Crisis Center: You have successfully unsubscribed and will receive no more messages. More info email VHA.SuicideHotlineStaff@va.gov. Conversation ended, this text dialogue has been deleted. For more help, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.”
  6. If you or the Veteran or service member you’re concerned about is in danger, the responder will help you get through the crisis and then connect you with the services you need, either from your local VA medical center or elsewhere in your community. If you decide to share contact information, the suicide prevention coordinator at the nearest VA medical center will contact you by the next business day.
  7. If you or the Veteran or service member you're concerned about is in crisis but not at imminent risk for injury or suicide, the responder will listen, offer support, and help you make a plan to stay safe.
  8. Afterward you may be connected with your local suicide prevention coordinator, who will contact you the next business day for continued support.
Text 838255

Local Resources

No matter what you're experiencing, we have resources and support systems to help get your life back on track.

Veteran Support

VA offers a network of support for all Veterans and their families and friends. You don’t have to be enrolled in VA health care or registered with VA.