Illinois group wants to prevent veteran suicides

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ A task force aimed at preventing suicide deaths among veterans will begin meeting next month in Illinois.

Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego and Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park say the group will address suicide prevention, mental health and unemployment.

The federal veteran’s affairs department reports an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day nationwide. Veterans say programs are needed to create a greater sense of community following their active duty.

The task force is scheduled to meet five times in different locations across the state starting in Springfield on May 2. The group plans to submit a report to the Illinois General Assembly at the end of the year.