Last Sunday evening, people from around the world tuned in the MTV Video Music Awards. As usual the night was packed full of music performances, outrageous outfits, and tons of celebrities. However, this year’s ceremony shed some light on a topic that is not often brought to the mainstage . . . suicide.
Jared Leto, actor and Thirty Seconds to Mars front man, paid tribute to his late friends Chris Cornell of Sound Garden, and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Both musicians died by suicide earlier in the year. Leto made a heartfelt plea to the audience and viewers to reach out for help if they are ever having thoughts of suicide.
“If there’s anyone out there who feels like there is no hope, hear me now,” he added. “You are not alone. There is always a way forward. Reach out, share your thoughts. Do not give up and I promise you this: The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days.”
This message of hope continued when Kesha introduced rapper, Logic, to the stage to perform his billboard topper 1-800-273-8255.
“It has been said that if you knew who walked beside you, you would never experience fear and doubt again,” Kesha said, before noting that Logic’s song brought her to tears. “The truth is piercing and the truth is what matters. The truth is none of us are alone,” she said.
His song, 1-800-273-8255, was written for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline whose phone number is the name of the song. He explained that the song is a platform to talk about something that mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about: mental health, anxiety, and depression.
During his performance, Logic was joined on stage by attempt survivors; many of whom were brought to tears during the set. With September being Suicide Awareness Month, it was perfect timing to start the conversation.
Following the airing of the Video Music Awards, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline reported a 50% increase of call volume.
Jill Hamilton, Senior Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation
Jill Hamilton has been a Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation since 2014. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Speech Communication Minor from The University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since working at the foundation, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition and The Metro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nebraska LOSS Advisory Committee, The Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, is Chair of the Nebraska LOSS Teams Conference Planning Committee, and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team