AMFLAGSPRINGFIELD — With Veterans Day approaching, State Senators Michael E. Hastings and Mike Porfirio are taking the opportunity to remind residents about vital resources available to Illinois service members, veterans and their loved ones through the Illinois Governor’s Challenge.

“Our service members—both current and former—have made many sacrifices, continually putting the safety of our citizens above their own,” said Hastings (D-Frankfort), a retired Army captain and chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “It is our duty to ensure military members, veterans and their loved ones have access to the resources and assistance they need. I encourage anyone in need of help to utilize the resources offered by the state.”

The IGC—in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs—was created to prevent suicide among service members, veterans and their families. According to IDVA, veterans are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than individuals who have never served in the military. The campaign is a collaborative effort to expand access to prevention resources such as the Veterans Crisis Line and training materials for organizations interested in supporting service members and their loved ones.

The nationwide Veterans Crisis Line is free, confidential and available 24/7. Users do not need to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to use the hotline. For support, veterans and their loved ones can dial 9-8-8 and press 1, send a text to 838255, or chat online with a trained professional at

The Governor's Challenge has also partnered with PsychArmor, a national nonprofit providing education and training courses to improve the outcomes of military-connected individuals. The training program covers a range of topics, including how to identify the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions like PTSD, depression and anxiety.

“Veterans and service members have selflessly dedicated themselves to protecting our country,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township), a Navy reserve member. “It is our duty to protect them in return. Providing resources for active military members, veterans and their families ensures they have the support they need to thrive.”

For more information, or to get involved with the Illinois Governor’s Challenge, visit