Radio persona shares his story of psychological well being issues in hopes of saving lives and galvanizing others to hunt help
Eric Chase has been open about his mental health journey, including years of struggling with suicidal thoughts and how he got help.
TOLEDO, Ohio – September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
Eric Chase goes for a walk with his dogs Diddy and N’Dre.
It’s a mundane task for pet owners, but for Chase, every tap with those claws on the sidewalk is one step further from the darkness.
“It was hopeless for me, I would always have inflamed parts of my body, I could never be active, I could never be happy,” said Chase.
Doctors diagnosed Chase with a condition that caused severe joint pain.
With a body aching and struggling with mental health, the radio personality found itself in the fog.
“That was when thoughts of suicide crossed my mind,” said Chase. “I would hold a knife in my hand in the kitchen and say, ‘I’ve looked at enough Law & Order to know where dangerous parts of my body are that I could bleed to death.'”
There were a couple of things that kept him from doing so; Family and a special soul in particular.
“I had some of those nights and looked at Diddy downstairs and just said, ‘I would like to die, it would erase this hopelessness and I would like to die, but I have a dog and I’ ‘have to take care of it,'” Chase said.
“The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone,” said Jen Wakefield, Lucas County’s director of the Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Chase was treated for his physical pain, which allowed him to be more active.
He found even more support from the Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
“If you need a hand to hold on to on the go, we do it because we are literally walking the path. And I think the more people come out and destigmatize these things, the more I think others will be willing to shake hands, “said Wakefield.
You will find that one of those hands is Eric Chase.
He has made sense of his struggles and is always ready to share whatever advice he wants.
“Do you want to feel better? If someone had asked me that 2006, 08, 2010, I would have absolutely said yes,” Chase said.
The Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition has a face-to-face meeting this Friday at 2:15 p.m. at the Kent Branch Library.
Anyone getting into a crisis, including one that has nothing to do with suicidal ideation, can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Lifeline provides free, confidential, 24/7 support for people in need, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
If you need assistance, seek help immediately.
Mental health resources
In addition to The Willow Center and Unison Health, there are other ways you can find support for your emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
The Lucas County’s Emotional Support Hotline is available at 419-442-0580 from 8:00 a.m. to midnight and offers peer assistance.
If you want to speak to someone and you are not in imminent danger, send “4hope” to 741-741 to be connected to Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Crisis Text Management and a trained counselor within 5 minutes. There are no charges and the information will not appear on your phone bill.
NAMI Greater Toledo Family Navigators is available at 419-243-1119 MF from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for non-emergency assistance and resources.
If you are a young member of the LGBTQ + community and need help in any way, call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. Calls to the Trevor Project are free and confidential.
Emergency mental support
The NAMI Greater Toledo Recovery Helpline for liaison with local trained mental health crisis counselors is available at 419-255-3125. Trained counselors for mental emergencies are available on site around the clock.
You can also contact the NAMI national crisis advisors by texting NAMI on 741-741.
Another local resource is Rescue Mental Health at 419-255-9585 or the Wood County Crisis Line at 419-502-4673.
If a situation is an imminent threat to you or a loved one, NAMI Greater Toledo says it may be necessary to call 911 and speak to the police. It’s important to tell 911 it’s a psychiatric emergency and ask about police officers trained in crisis intervention (CIT).