SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate adopted a resolution creating a task force to investigate Illinois veteran suicide Thursday. State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) sponsored the bipartisan task force.
“We need to help veterans transition back into to the civilian world. We owe it to them to do everything to better understand and treat the causes of veteran suicide,” Cullerton said.
Nationwide, an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Between 2005 and 2011, the veteran suicide rate in Illinois was twice the rate for civilians. During that timeframe, more than 17 percent of all suicides in Illinois were veterans.
The task force will investigate the causes of veteran suicide, form policy recommendations and report back to the General Assembly.
The eight-person Task Force on Veterans’ Suicide will be made up of representatives from the departments of Veterans Affairs, Military Affairs, Public Health and Human Services as well as Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
The resolution, HJR 91, passed with bipartisan support and no opposition.