Why Suicide Survivors Took The Stage At The 2018 Grammys

2017 MTV Video Music Awards - Fixed Show
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

The Grammy Awards on Sunday evening were filled with moving performances and powerful messages. For many, the most impactful show of the evening came near the end of the night, when the rappers Logic and Khalid and singer Alessia Cara took to the stage to perform their song “1-800-273-8255.”

The song is named after the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s hotline number and it’s a powerful anti-suicide anthem whose lyrics demonstrate a cry for help from someone who’s suffering — and the caring response this person will receive.

The accompanying “1-800-273-8255” music video details the lows of one young gay man in high school who faces rejection, bullying and homophobia at the hands of family and friends, and considers taking his own life. However, the young man calls a suicide prevention hotline, and the next scene we see is his wedding several years down the line, where he is happy, in love and surrounded by friends and family.

Logic’s song is meant to ignite a conversation around mental health and encourage young people to reach out for help. Having suicide survivors and their family members take the stage with the performers at the Grammys was the ultimate way to honor their strength and show those grappling with self-harming thoughts that there is a full life and lots of hope on the other other side.

In case you missed it, here’s a clip of the powerful Grammys performance:


Logic, Cara, and Khalid also performed the song at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards in August and welcomed suicide survivors onstage. After the VMAs the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline said it received double its usual amount of calls after the performance.

“The impact has been pretty extraordinary,” John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, told CNN at the time. Draper continued:

“… [H]ere’s what’s really important: Logic is generating calls with a song about getting help and finding hope. It’s not focusing on tragedy or suicide. In fact, he’s starting conversations about suicide prevention, as opposed to suicide.”

It’s a message that matters — and one that clearly is resonating with people from around the world. Whether it served as a reminder to ask for help or to reach out to someone who may need a friend, the performance was a beautiful way to start 2018 off on the right foot.

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