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The VMAs and Mental Health and Suicide Awareness

August 28, 2017

        This past weekend was the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards (aka the VMAs). Each year, the VMAs credits artists and their music. With trendy categories like “Video of the Year” and “Best New Artist” it draws worldwide attention. All of this attention is a great way for artists to connect with fans watching. Most of the time, the awards come along with noble speeches and lots of thanks but every once in awhile, there are memorable moments that people don’t forget; and this year's VMAs were no exception to that. 

        Singer and songwriter, Logic (along with Alessia Cara and Khalid), performed the hit song “1-800-273-8255” at the 2017 VMAs. His song title is the phone number belonging to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The verses he speaks of in his song are from the perspective of someone who is calling the hotline as they want to end their own life and later in the song, the perspective changes to that of a person on the other end of the phone telling the suicidal person that they have every reason to live. The song is very emotional and touching.

        After performing his song, Logic delivered an exceptional speech about mental health, suicide, and equality. I suffer with various mental health issues and seeing an artist talk about it makes it become less stigmatized. He begins by saying, “I believe we are all born equal but we are not treated equal and that is why we must fight.” For the longest time I felt ashamed to talk about my mental health issues because I felt as though it was always looked down upon but once I realized I wasn’t alone I became an avid advocate for it.

        Logic continues his powerful speech by saying, “I just want to take a moment to thank you for giving me a platform to talk about something mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about: mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression, and so much more I talk about on this album."  I absolutely agree with him in the fact mainstream media tends to shy away from discussing mental health and suicide and for this, I am admired by the fact that Logic used his celebrity status to touch upon these subjects and various other issues.

        While standing next to and embracing suicide survivors he goes on to say,  "From racism, discrimination, sexism, domestic violence, sexual assault, and so much more; I don’t give a damn if you are black, white, or any color in between. I don’t care if you’re Christian, you’re Muslim, you’re gay, you’re straight; I am here to fight for your equality." Logic finishes his speech with a powerful message directed towards the audience and viewers watching at home: “So I say here and now if you believe in this message of peace, love, positivity, and equity for all, then I demand that you rise to your feet and applaud not only for yourselves but for the foundation we are laying for our children.” He received a standing ovation for his courageous and empowering words.

        To say the least his speech will definitely be remembered for years to come. Not only did he talk about mental health and suicide in today's society, but he reassured people who are struggling that they aren’t alone. Just because you have a mental illness or feel suicidal doesn’t mean you should be treated any different from someone who has broken an arm or fallen off of a bike. An illness is an illness and the sooner we, as society, can accept mental health just as serious as a physical illness is the moment we will  be able to stop the stigma. To whoever is reading this just know your feelings are valid and you are worthy to live the best life possible! 

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