Chapter 115 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 16. Section 1. The department of veterans affairs and the department of mental health in coordination with an advisory committee established in section 2 shall convene an advisory committee to investigate and study ways to augment services to returning veterans to reduce the rate of suicide and the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety among veterans. The committee shall investigate and study the complexity of reintegration into civilian life and issues related to isolation and suicide among veterans.
The committee shall also examine the following topics: the relationship between having a community peer liaison and reintegration into society among these diagnosed veterans; the relationship between isolation and suicide among veterans; the relationship between having a community peer liaison and changes in symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety in diagnosed veterans.
The committee shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and any recommendations by filing the same with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall forward the same to the chairs of the joint committee on veterans affairs and the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse on or before January 1, 2016.
Section 2. The department of veterans affairs shall convene an advisory committee consisting of 12 members; 2 of whom shall be members of Massachusetts chapter of Team Red, White and Blue; 2 of whom shall be members of Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program; 2 of whom shall be members of Wounded Warriors Project; 2 of whom shall be members of Mass Mentoring Partnership; 2 of whom shall be members of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and 2 of whom shall be members of the Massachusetts Psychological Association. The committee shall provide support and expertise to reduce isolation and suicide among returning veterans. The members of the committee shall have experience in mental health or veterans support services with an emphasis on treatment of post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety among veterans.
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