Local experts weigh in mental health awareness after Naomi Judd’s death

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Naomi Judd’s death by mental illness over the weekend led to a conversation about mental health. So many people struggle with mental illness and sometimes, it’s hard to notice.

“We see a lot of people who really struggle with stigma with mental illness,” says Courtney Burrow, the clinical director of crisis services at the Zepf Center. “It’s difficult for them to call or accept help when we offer it because there is such a negative connotation tied to needing medication for a mental illness where we maybe don’t see that with other illnesses people suffer from.”

Eric Chase hosts the afternoon radio show for Q105 here in Toledo. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 2005. “I do get hammered with the other side of bipolar which is depression and anxiety,” says Chase. “Most of my life the focus was always on the depression, the utter and complete hopelessness which gave me too much of a friendly conversation with suicidal ideations.”

Chase talks openly about on his show about his own struggles. Saying, “A lot of the pop culture content that I talk about is mental health related because it’s a big topic for everybody right now, and every time I open my mouth and talk about it, it reduces the stigma for preventing somebody to get themselves some help.”

And the news about Naomi Judd was tough for Chase to hear: “Mental illness isn’t prejudiced to anybody of any age, any color, any sex. Certainly some people have it harder than others, but you can never put yourself in someone else’ pain regardless of how good you think they’re life is. Just because you’re rich and famous doesn’t make you immune to any kind of mental health issue.”

If you are struggling with mental illness, know that you aren’t alone. There are many resources available if you want to get help. Locally, check out NAMI of Greater Toledo and the Zepf Center. And no matter where you are, you can text HELP4U to 435748 or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to get connected to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline.

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