Three candidates for governor spend part of Sunday afternoon discussing how to improve access to mental health and substance abuse treatment in Iowa.

Options for financing and expanding treatment were covered and debated, but the candidates each made a point of urging Iowans to seek treatment for a mental health condition or addiction.

“This year I will be celebrating 18 years of sobriety,” Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said and the audience applauded. “…I would not have been able to do it on my own with the support of a family, my community and the services that I was afforded.”

Libertarian candidate Jake Porter spoke about suffering from depression and contemplating suicide in 2011.

“We have to be able to share these stores, even though they are not comfortable, even though we don’t want to, even though they aren’t stuff we like to talk about,” Porter said.

Fred Hubbell, the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor, agreed it’s time to erase the stigma associated with seeking treatment for a mental illness.

“It’s no different from some kind of cancer. You can’t see it, but it’s real and needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of,” Hubbell said. “That’s how we need to talk about it. That’s how we need to address it.”

The forum was sponsored by The Des Moines Register, the Iowa Hospital Association and Des Moines University.