SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, is urging Gov. Rauner to sign a measure to help veterans transition into civilian life and prevent veteran suicide.
“We need to make sure we are doing all we can to support our veterans,” said Scherer. “To end veteran suicide, we need to improve the quality of health services veterans and their family members receive, as well as expand job opportunities for those returning from combat.”
According to a recent study by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in this country. Scherer is working to address this crisis by sponsoring a package of reforms that would streamline access to existing services for veterans and provide new accommodations for returning service members as they seek civilian jobs and educational opportunities.
Scherer is sponsoring House Bill 2647, which would require the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA) to create several programs to better serve veterans with PTSD and other service-related mental illnesses. Scherer’s legislation would also improve the mental health training provided to veterans’ assistance commissions and other veterans’ groups, as well as cut red tape and expedite filing of discharge paperwork to ensure veterans receive mental health treatment, job training and other services sooner.
“Injuries sustained in war are not always visible, and they can hurt long after veterans come home,” said Scherer. “I urge Governor Rauner to sign this legislation to ensure that wounded warriors have access to care, job opportunities and other services.”