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‘Be the Light in Someone’s Darkness’: Greg Lindmark Foundation donates mental health awareness wrap to sheriff department squad

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — When a police officer needs help, they might call out 10-78 on their radios.

"10-78 is an officer in need of assistance," says Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

But sometimes, the assistance first responders need comes after the emergency they've dealt with.

"They see so much every day," says Brad Lindmark. "So that's kind of why the foundation is here. For cumulative stress, PTSD from their jobs. It's needed. Our counseling is free. We help the families when there's problems."

Brad Lindmark is the president of the Greg Lindmark foundation. It's named after Brad's brother, a Rockford Police Chief Deputy, who took his own life in 2015. Brad says his family created the foundation to ensure no other first responders or their families would have to endure what his did.

"I was very good friends with Greg back in the day," says Caruana. "He was a cadet when I was patrol man. I knew him very very well."

"Part of our struggle in our foundation was breaking down that barrier of the stigma of getting help," says Lindmark.

To help break down that barrier and spread the word on what the foundation does for area first responders, the Greg Lindmark Foundation donated a special wrap to a WCSO squad. The wrap displays the Greg Lindmark Foundation logos, 10-78, green ribbons, and the various first responder colors.

"So much these days they need to know they're well respected, they do their job they keep us safe," says Lindmark. "If my brother were here I would tell him one thing it's what he meant to the community. All these first responders mean so much."

"We have to stop that stigma and move on," says Caruana. "There's people out there that need help and are crying for help. It could be our relatives, friends, or whatever and we're not identifying it because they hide it."

If you'd like to learn more about the Greg Lindmark Foundation, click here.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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