Press Release

Sente Backs Reforms to Assist Veterans Access Mental Health Services

03/15/2017

“For many veterans, their service includes seeing the unthinkable and going through the unspeakable,” Sente said. “That should be the hardest part of their service, not their return home. We back home should make the return the easy part.”

The Sente-sponsored reforms, House Bill 2647, works to address the veteran mental health crisis by 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 Sente helped create in 2014. The panel of legislators, veterans and advocates met throughout the state to listen and craft legislation allowing the state to more effectively meet veterans’ needs.

House Bill 2647 would additionally streamline the veteran paperwork filing process to allow veterans to receive job training services and mental health treatment faster. In addition, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs would partner with local chambers of commerce to create employer training programs for returning veterans and highlight employers friendly towards hiring veterans.

“America is blessed to have so many brave service members who have sacrificed to defend our freedoms,” Sente said. “It is easy to remember soldiers when we see them in uniform, but we need to make sure they aren’t forgotten when they take that uniform off and return to civilian life.”


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