Veterans Crisis Line

Oscar-winning documentary highlights heroism of those who seek help and those who serve them


On February 28, 2015, two excellent Veteran-themed films were up for Oscars. The box-office blockbuster American Sniper graphically illustrates the difficult readjustments Veterans often have to make in transitioning to civilian life. Less well known was a short subject documentary. Developed by HBO in cooperation with the VA, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 spotlights the moment-to-moment work of the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line, a VA program in upstate New York. The industry leaders voted to give the Oscar to this powerful documentary.

During this intense 40-minute film, we see and overhear actual responders and counselors handling difficult conversations, exemplary of the some 22,000 calls the Center fields each month. In accepting the award to strong applause from the Hollywood audience, director Ellen Goosenberg Kent especially thanked the crisis line staff who, “…care for Veterans as if their own lives depended on it.” She then said, “This incredible honor really goes to the Veterans and their families who are brave enough to ask for help.”

In the next post in this series, we’ll talk about what it’s like to be a responder for the Veterans Crisis Line.

In the meantime, Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, visit

If you’re interested in a job on the Veterans Crisis Line or supporting Veterans in many other ways, please visit VA Careers.


Darren Sherrard


  1. Kevin Besel    

    I am a Marine always was discharged after cease fire in Vietnam. I have a soldier that i am trying to help he is going out with my daughter. He is a Iraq veteran served 3 tours. He was honourably discharged then on the third tour snapped disobeyed a command ( that is what he is saying) and was dishonourable discharged. He has been diagnosed with severe Ptsd and has been in trouble since release. He will not tell me what he was exactly charged with he did say that at his court martial he had no representation it was done on the phone which sounded kind of stupid to me. He can not get any help from the VA and I feel as a Vet myself he should be able to get some help with the PTSD. I know getting him help to overturn a dishonourable will be hard but I would first like to help him deal with the combat issues he has. Please if you can help me my e-mail is up there let us do the right thing. Thank You Kevin B Besel

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