Friday, July 9, 2010

IL is taking veteran's mental health seriously!

When veterans come home from combat situations, they often need more than just a visit to their general practitioner to make the transition into civilian life go smoothly. The psychological and emotional well being of a soldier should be tended to along with their physical health. 

In the past it wasn't always easy to get decision makers or the armed forces to acknowledge the prevalence of issues such as PTSD, depression, and substance abuse among returning troops, or the importance of caring for troops mental health.

But that stance in denial has been changing over the years. Recently we at ETD have noticed that the issues of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and veterans' mental health, and need for mental health care, have been getting more attention from the armed forces, local media, and now the IL state government!

We couldn't be more pleased to see this shift toward dialogue, understanding, and action for the men and women who do so much for our country. So it was very nice to be able to send you off into the weekend with a piece of exceptionally good news from the IL General Assembly.

House Bill 6103 (which passed the General Assembly unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Quinn yesterday) means that vets won't have to pay for services at state mental health facilities that aren't covered by their insurance plans.

Quinn was quoted as saying "We must work together to service the brave men and women who defend our freedom overseas and come home with wounds we often cannot see."

So hooray for progress, for this growing shift toward acceptance and action regarding mental health, and to our home state for doing something we can all be proud of.

*If you are a veteran, or have a loved one in the armed services who might benefit from receiving mental health services you can learn more about this and about seeking help from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

You can also call the information and referral hotline run by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Chicago for help locating appropriate mental health care in your neighborhood at (312) 563-0445 10am-5pm 
Monday through Friday. 

Have a wonderful weekend,

-Jessica

This post made me want to acknowledge the service members in my family. My two grandfathers, both Naval veterans of the Second World War; my uncle Scott, a veteran of the navy and a merchant marine; my younger cousin Josh, a marine and veteran of the current war in Iraq. Do you have ties to the armed forces?

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