HAM LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) - A Twin Cities radio personality is refocusing his grief from a personal tragedy to help others by raising awareness for those struggling with suicide and depression.
P.T. Hohag's life was redefined when he lost his father in 2013.
“I didn’t realize how important and influential he was in my life until he was no longer there,” said P.T.
P.T. says Thomas Hohag's suicide at 68 years old came as a total shock.
“My dad was the kind of person who made you feel good about who you were,” said P.T.
The sudden absence left P.T. struggling for answers.
“I faced a lot of times looking in the mirror and asking myself, ‘Was I trying to be stronger than I was?’” said P.T.
Eighteen months later, ready to win his own battle with depression, P.T., a radio personality on BUZ’N 102.9, decided to launch the Livin' Foundation to decrease the stigma surrounding suicide.
“This affects anybody young, old, rich, poor, anybody,” he said. “We want to remember people for the life that they lived, not the way that they died.”
Through the foundation, P.T. supports veterans with PTSD, speaks to young people, supports families in financial trouble after a loss and offers a safe space for men to share their trials.
“It’s something men don’t talk about, we look at vulnerability as a weakness rather than an opportunity for strength,” said P.T.
For World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, P.T. hit the Majestic Oaks golf course in Ham Lake and teed it up with The Face-it Foundation in a joint effort to empower men to overcome depression.
“Unfortunately for myself and a lot of other people that have been affected by suicide, every day is suicide prevention day,” he said.
It’s a position he now swings into a lifelong mission.
“To remind all of us that it’s absolutely a great day to be alive,” said P.T.
The Livin' Foundation will host its first music festival Saturday, Sept. 22 at the ERX Motor Park in Elk River. Country music singer Craig Morgan is headlining the family event.
If you or a loved one is struggling you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.