James Wright, LPC

Chief of Staff
Veterans Administration


James Wright, LCPC, Chief of Staff overseeing clinical operations, came to the Veterans Crisis Line on 1 September 2018 after having served as Public Health Advisor in the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at SAMHSA.  James served as the Government Project Officer (GPO) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, providing federal oversight of the nationwide, 160-crisis center crisis line system for SAMHSA, which includes some of the largest behavioral health organizations in America. He also served as GPO for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, Garrett Lee Smith and Crisis Center Follow Up grants.  Mr. Wright also represented CMHS in Health Information Technology, to include advances in mobile behavioral health and mobile application development. He represented SAMHSA on the National Action Alliance Task Forces for Crisis Services and Juvenile Justice. Mr. Wright participated on several federal committees, some of which include the Federal Partners on Bullying Prevention, the Veterans Crisis Line Clinical Advisory Board and the Federal Interagency Committee on Traumatic Brain Injury.

Prior to his role with SAMHSA, Mr. Wright previously managed psychiatric emergency services for both Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC), both of which contained in person and full call center services.  He also served on the Board of Directors for Contact USA, a hotline accreditation body, and co-created the first nationwide public crisis chat network outside the VA before incorporating into the Lifeline chat service.

James is a Veteran of the U.S. Army. As a Veteran, and as a leader of the Lifeline within which the VCL operates, he has a strong heart for the VCL mission.


Brkout 6 - Veterans Crisis Line: Answering the Call and Moving Beyond the Call