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First responder deflection support services

VA Puget Sound supports local deflection, also known as pre-arrest diversions, to reduce or prevent negative outcomes through supportive health care services.

This web page informs local government and community organizations encountering Veterans who need timely care, including police and fire dispatchers, emergency medical services technicians, police officers, mobile crisis units, shelter staff, outreach teams, etc.

Emergency services at Seattle VA Medical Center

The Seattle VA Medical Center is the preferred destination of Veterans for emergency treatment.  we provide emergent psychiatric care imbedded within the emergency department at our Seattle VA Medical Center 

Emergency Department: 206-764-2600 our Seattle VA Medical Center operates 24/7

Psychiatry Emergency Services: 206-764-2610 everyday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. PT, and on call overnight

Accessing emergency mental health services elsewhere

During an emergency Veterans can receive emergency suicide care at the nearest or most appropriate emergency department.  The VA’s Community Care program has more information regarding emergency care since The COMPACT Act of 2020 Contact the local COMPACT ACT coordinator by phone 206-277-6534 or email

Report emergency treatment received from a non-VA Emergency Department: care staff or the Veteran are required to report emergency care within 72 hours to the VA 72-Hour Notification Hotline at 844-724-7842 or via the VA Emergency Care Reporting portal

24/7 VA services

The VA offers critical services by phone and other mobile technologies.  First responding personnel are encouraged to connect Veterans in the field with these valuable services.

Veterans Crisis Line: 988, extension 1 – Active Duty, Veterans, and their loved ones can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by phone, online chat, or via SMS text

Advice from an on-call VA nurse: 800-329-8387, option 3 - registered nurses on-call 24/7 provide medical advice to questions about care or for help in deciding whether urgent or routine care is needed.

Homeless Veterans: 877-424-3838 for Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and their family members, friends and supporters, can make the call or chat online with the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans

Veterans readjusting to civilian life: 877-927-8387 combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life at the Vet Center Call Center

Police: VA Puget Sound operates 24/7 policing services at our medical centers via dispatchers connected with their community peers:

Business hours services

Warm handoffs for first responders:  Local Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinators can assist first responders with linking Veterans to enrollment, medical, mental health, and homelessness services. They also provide local jail outreach and assistance to Veterans navigating the legal system.

Addictions and substance use disorder treatment self-referral: Connect Veterans with our addictions intake offices at the following locations.

  • Seattle VA Medical Center, for King and northern counties
    • Walk-in: building 101, floor 1, left hallway on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. PT
    •  Phone: 206-277-3318 for a same day intake appointment Tuesdays and Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. PT
    • Phone: to schedule intake outside of Tuesday and Thursday drop in times. 
  • American Lake VA Medical Center, for Pierce, Southern, and Olympic Peninsula counties

Mental health treatment: Our services vary by the location of the Veteran and their access to one of our clinics for walk-in and same-day appointments for non-emergency mental health treatment. Find more information about our mental health services

Veterans experiencing homelessness in King County: 206-764-5149 provides Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with one-stop access to community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.  Walk-ins are welcome Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT at our South Lucile Street facility

Women Veterans: 855-829-6636 for information about a variety of services and benefits that women Veterans have earned and deserve through their military service by phone or online chat with the Women Veterans Call Center

Intimate partner violence assistance:  206-716-5784  Intimate partner violence assistance program provide resources, safety planning, and support for Veterans and their partners impacted by or experiencing intimate partner violence.