SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign legislation recently passed by the General Assembly to reduce veteran suicide.
“The brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms must be cared for after they return home,” Moylan said. “This comprehensive veteran mental health package will make Illinois a leader in providing improved care for our veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health illnesses.”
According to a recent study by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in this country. Moylan is working to address this crisis by sponsoring a package of reforms streamlining access to existing services for veterans and providing new accommodations for returning service members as they seek civilian jobs and educational opportunities.
The reforms are recommendations of the Illinois Task Force on Veterans’ Suicide, which Moylan helped create in 2014. The task force was made up of veterans and their advocates that met throughout the state to gather information and craft legislation that will allow the state to more effectively meet the needs of the veteran community.
Moylan sponsored House Bill 2647, which requires the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA) to create several programs to better serve veterans with mental trauma, depression and other service-related mental illnesses. Moylan’s bill directs IDVA to work with the Federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs to proactively identify Illinois veterans whose service exposed them to situations found to increase the likelihood of suicidal tendencies.
Moylan’s legislation works to improve the mental health training provided to veterans’ assistance commissions and other veterans’ groups. The IDVA would partner with existing veterans’ associations and military organizations to provide families of returning service members with a family preparation course concerning deployment, discharge, and return of veterans.
Moylan’s bill is designed to allow the IDVA to form collaborations and coordinate with various existing Veteran Service Organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, in addition to working with existing non-profit groups to help achieve the goals of this legislation. In addition, the bill recognizes that partnership with the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs is necessary to meet the needs of our veteran population.
“This measure will not only assist our younger veterans, but our older Vietnam-era veterans as well,” Moylan said. “I am urging the governor to sign this measure, so we can begin providing better care to our brave warriors.”
Visit Rep Moylan’s website
200-3S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
24 S. Des Plaines River Rd.
Des Plaines, IL 60016
(847) 635-8565 FAX