Florida Veterans Helpline Receives Thousands of Calls After Statewide Expansion
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 13, 2018 – A support line for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, financial hardship and other problems has broadened its reach to every county in Florida.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the state’s 2-1-1 system partnered for the Florida Veterans Support Line’s (FVSL) expansion. The helpline received around 3,300 calls per year in the three years since its launch in October 2014. However, the number of calls jumped to nearly 10,000 in just the last quarter of 2017 alone since the statewide expansion.
Florida veterans can make free calls to the helpline at 1-844-MyFLVet (1-844-693-5838) to anonymously discuss issues they are facing and seek emotional support. Callers are referred to resources at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well as other local government programs, community services and nonprofit groups. Former service members can access the helpline regardless of their discharge status.
“The helpline’s expansion is a step in the right direction toward ensuring Florida veterans receive the practical assistance and emotional support they need,” said Florida veterans lawyer David W. Magann. “Often, veterans do not know where to turn when they need help, so being able to make a simple call to a helpline can improve their access to valuable resources.”
Last year, the Legislature awarded the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay $400,000 in funding through the Florida VA to take the support line statewide. Clara Reynolds, the organization’s president and CEO, said, “We are proud to have piloted the Florida Veterans Support Line in Tampa Bay, and now, based on the statewide need and positive impact of this service on our veteran community, we are thrilled to expand the resource statewide.”
She said callers are linked to their regional 2-1-1 hotline system so that they can be connected with services where they live. Trained veterans from a network of local nonprofit organizations throughout Florida answer the calls.
According to Reynolds, almost 60 percent of veterans who phoned the hotline in the first three months of its expansion were seeking mental health assistance. More than 33 percent of those callers said they needed help because they were suicidal.Learn more at http://www.tampaveteranslawyer.com/ David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548