Community Conversations focuses on suicide awareness

  • John Krummen

    John Krummen

  • Dawn DeSart

    Dawn DeSart

Community Conversation submission
Posted1/7/2020 11:29 AM

Naperville City Councilman John Krummen and DuPage County Board member Dawn DeSart of Aurora are planning the second of their Community Conversations, this one focused on suicide awareness.

"Community conversations: Suicide Awareness and The Path Toward Hope" will be presented from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, in the Naperville City Council chambers, 400 S. Eagle St.


The panel will discuss those who are lost to suicide and how the community can help those most in need of mental health intervention.

Panelists are Lori Carnahan, director of behavioral health at the DuPage County Health Department; Anne Dempsey, RN; Casey Woodham, mental health coordinator at Neuqua Valley High School; and Kelly Bryant, director of clinical excellence at Linden Oaks.

"Every year, Naperville loses too many of our residents -- especially our teens -- to suicide," DeSart said. "Every individual lost is a needless, senseless loss, and suicide is especially prominent this time of year, right after the holidays. People lose hope. We've got to get better at identifying those most at risk in our community, and help them find the hope to live."

A Naperville resident for more than 15 years, Krummen has served on multiple boards and commissions before his election to the city council in 2015.

"I want to provide outreach on this issue after my friend, Bill Liu, held a fundraiser last year for the family of a Naperville North student, Lucas Gerber, who tragically took his own life in 2017. It came to my attention then that this issue is rarely discussed publicly until after a horrific event," he said.

"Well, let's discuss it, and let's find common-ground answers on how to help those who are most vulnerable. Let's give those most vulnerable hope and a voice."

For details about "Community Conversations: Suicide Awareness and the Path Toward Hope," contact DeSart at or call (312) 804-8688, or Krummen at or (630) 335-7376.

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