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Paul Thomas and Why The LIVIN Foundation Was Created

Let’s embrace life—“GET BUSY LIVIN” which will in turn remind people that it is always a great day to be alive.

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My name is Paul Thomas Hohag and I’m one of the founders of the LIVIN Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 whose mission is to raise awareness about depression/mental health issues in the hopes of preventing suicide.

On Jan 21st 2013 my life was transformed when a Bloomington police officer informed me that my father had taken his own life. My father, Thomas Hohag, was not only the most important and influential person in my life but also was an amazing husband, father, neighbor, and friend. And, tragically, he was gone. The “Hawk” was the kind of person who you loved to be with because he made you feel better about who you were. That’s what made him special…his ability to connect with others. It didn’t matter if you were a friend of 40 years or a stranger at the convenience store—he would probably put a smile on your face.

When he died, there were many unanswered questions and I struggled for a while with many emotions–frustration, anger, sadness, pain–until I came to a conclusion. Instead of focusing on the way he died, I needed to embrace the way he LIVED. I needed to encourage others to TALK about depression & suicide instead of hiding it due to embarrassment. This way we could reduce the stigma associated with depression and other mental illness and maybe, just maybe, save a life in the process.

That is what we have with the LIVIN Foundation–let’s encourage people to be appreciative of the people and things in their lives, let’s chase and live dreams (big or small), let’s laugh with each other (or be ok to cry with each other), and let’s do it in the hope that if someone, somewhere is struggling with depression that they aren’t afraid to step up and ask for help. Let’s be aware of the signs of depression so that we may notice a friend, family member or even a stranger who may be struggling and need some help.

Let’s embrace life & “GET BUSY #LIVIN” because remember…it is ALWAYS a great day to be alive.