Wrapping up the 2017 MTV VMAs last Sunday, Logic took the stage with Khalid and Alessia Cara to perform “1-800-273-8255,” his track about his own struggles with severe depression and suicide prevention.
The rapper was also joined by suicide attempt survivors, who wore t-shirts with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s phone number. As CNN reports, calls to the lifeline increased by 50 percent following the performance.
“It’s not just about the calls; it’s about increasing awareness about suicide, and suicide prevention in particular,” John Draper, director of the lifeline, told CNN. “The calls don’t even begin to count the number of people who, just by listening to the song and hearing the lyrics, feel more hopeful and less alone.”
Logic joins a growing list of musicians helping to push mental health issues to the collective forefront, including recent exhortations from bands such as Foo Fighters, and artists like Real Friends’ Dan Lambton and Clown from Slipknot.
“This past year, our audience was forced to say goodbye to musicians too soon because of suicide,” says the VMAs’ executive producer Garret English, alluding to the recent deaths of both Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington and Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell. “We want to do more than remember these artists. We want to remind people that suicide is preventable and that there are ways to get help and feel better if you’re struggling emotionally.”