Veterans Relationship Management, Veterans Crisis Line
As a senior consultant in ERPi’s enterprise management and software development support practice, I work every day to reduce the prevalence of Veteran suicide. ERPi supports the Veterans Relationship Management (VRM) Program Management Office, specifically the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) project as part of a program that develops more than 20 applications. The VCL Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application is expected to provide world-class suicide prevention and intervention services via telephone, chat, and text.
Suicide prevention is one of VA’s highest priorities, yet 20 Veterans commit suicide each day. VA is challenged with connecting Veterans with VA professionals, who are specially trained to attend to emotional crises for Veterans and service members. ERPi is charged with providing the last line of validation before any product is released to the VCL call center agents. The CRM application is expected to replace the legacy application that is currently unable to provide adequate support. ERPi is responsible for preparing and executing test artifacts based on requirements; facilitate User Acceptance Testing (UAT); identify and manage defects; identify and assess risks and advise on mitigation; implement testing best practices and report UAT outcome and next step recommendations to VRM leadership.
Why This Work Matters
The impact of our work with VCL struck me when I joined the project as a software test lead for the VCL CRM application. The risk of suicide for Veterans is 21 percent higher than civilian adults. And, the suicide rate for female Veterans increased more than 85 percent, compared to 40 percent for civilian women from 2001-2014.
Supporting VA’s mission in reducing rates of suicide is incredibly meaningful work. The ERPi Test Support Services Team has been supporting the VCL since 2015, helping VCL dispatch a significant number of resources. VCL has answered more than 2.5 million calls, 95 percent of which are answered in 20 seconds or less, dispatched emergency services nearly 66,000 times, engaged 308,000 Veterans in online chats, and responded to over 60,000 texts. Veterans need this service and they need it to work. ERPi is a part of that important work.
Making a Difference
ERPi’s culture is centered around service to others. This work makes me feel connected to my colleagues, our company mission, and most importantly VA’s mission. Together, ERPi and VA are ensuring Veterans can reach a VA professional using a method that is comfortable for them. Together we are working to reduce the rate of Veteran suicide, and provide crisis intervention for those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.