My first byline of 2018 also happens to be on a subject close to my heart. I got to write a response to YouTuber Logan Paul’s suicide victim video and the damage it can do to survivors of suicide like myself. As someone left in the wake of suicide’s devastation, I’m appalled that anyone would think this type of video is acceptable. The second I heard about this video, I knew I had to write about it.
And then last week, Paul released a PSA video, which fell flat to many people, including myself. Nice try, but one video does not make Paul a suicide prevention advocate! A calculated PR stunt has NOTHING to do with raising suicide awareness and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that he’s obviously learned nothing from all this… #TooLittleTooLate
Here’s an excerpt of the essay, which made me realize that I really like writing these more timely pieces and hope to write more this year…
But as is often the case when celebrities are caught behaving badly, Paul’s words and YouTube’s actions are too little, too late. Because things aren’t nearly as easy for people like me.
Unlike Paul, survivors of suicide can’t just delete a video or close our laptops and just go on to something else.
As much as we can “move on,” whatever that means, we will always carry the pain of our loss wherever we go and whatever we do. There’s no “out of sight, out of mind” for us, and, sadly, there never will be.
Suicide is devastating, plain and simple. But what’s even more troubling in all of this? Paul’s seeming inability to realize the full ramifications of his actions, despite taking the video down and issuing an apology. Because for me, suicide isn’t something that can be dealt with in a simple apology video. Maybe Paul’s intentions were good, and maybe he really has learned a valuable lesson in all of this. I just wish the trauma felt by suicide survivors didn’t come at the expense of his “lesson.”
Please, please remember that suicide is nothing to make light of or use for shock value. There are people behind each suicide. And if you’re suffering, know that you’re not alone…help is available! Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
You can read the full essay here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo