Illinois lawmakers are discussing measures aimed at curbing veteran suicide rates.
One would allow servicemembers to apply for a service dog raised by Helping Paws and the state’s Department of Corrections. The bill is sponsored by State Representative Dave Severin and already passed the House.
"Currently, the Department of Corrections partners with the Helping Paws program to provide service dogs to individuals suffering from physical or mental disabilities," he says. "This bill will widen the pool of eligible individuals to include veterans suffering from PTSD or depression."
The dogs are trained at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.
Another bill would implement recommendations from the state’s veteran suicide task force. That includes reaching out to servicemembers returning from high casualty areas.