As police across the suburbs increasingly encounter people who are in crisis, candidates for city council in Naperville agree mental health is a topic they must address.
Eight candidates seeking four seats in the April 4 election offer similar goals for a more mentally healthy community — providing a well-trained police force, educating residents and reducing stigma — but they suggest different ways of reaching these aims.
“We have to destigmatize it. I’ll destigmatize it right now,” incumbent Kevin Gallaher said about mental health during an endorsement interview with the Daily Herald. “I have depression. I’ve had it since 2002.”
Gallaher, a 53-year-old attorney, said he doesn’t like talking about his condition but does so to make sure others know there is help through counseling, faith and medication — even for the deepest valleys of mental health crisis.
During his first stint on the council, from 1995 to 2002, Gallaher said he helped ensure city employees receive insurance for mental health treatment. Now he advocates reaching out instead of turning in when dealing with a mental condition.
Incumbent John “Johnny” Krummen says he and his sons, too, have taken advantage of mental health services after his wife died of cancer.
“We went and saw counselors, and those counselors were key to helping us get through it,” said Krummen, a 53-year-old mechanical engineer.
He said it’s important to remember mental challenges aren’t always visible.
“You drive through Naperville and you see the nice houses and the…
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