Group aiming to prevent veteran suicides meets in Belleville

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A state-appointed Illinois task force aimed at preventing suicides among veterans has met in Belleville.

The Belleville News-Democrat ( ) reports that the panel, set up by the General Assembly and made up of state lawmakers and mental health and legal professionals, has a goal of submitting resource allotment recommendations by the end of the year to the Legislature.

One meeting was held last week at Southwestern Illinois College, and at least three more public meetings are planned through next month.

Vietnam War veterans told the task force about their concerns with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. One of them, Mick Eddington, said VA hospital staff that he has interacted with too quickly prescribe pills for mental health issues.

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