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Talk Saves Lives: We Can All Use Our Voice to #StopSuicide

8 Sep 2021 — 3 min read

By AFSP

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Empathy and Pain and Hope: Finding Connection Through the Out of the Darkness Walks

This year, for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week and throughout the month of September, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has partnered with Audacy, the multi-platform audio content and entertainment company whose “I’m Listening” program supports mental health awareness by amplifying the personal mental health stories of artists, athletes and celebrities, along with those of listeners, with the insights by AFSP medical health experts.

How’s your mental health?

Billie Eilish, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Imagine Dragons, Lil Nas X and so many more feel the same pressures we do!

We know talking about mental health has the power to save lives. That’s why at Audacy we use our voice to amplify personal mental health stories of artists, athletes and celebrities – changing the conversation around mental health - letting us all know it’s ok to not be ok.

Audacy deeply values mental health, which is why we’re proud to partner with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) year-round, especially during National Suicide Prevention Week.

This all began in 2017, when Audacy’s Seattle team began our “I’m Listening” program as a response to the deaths by suicide of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. Wanting to do something positive for their community during a really trying moment, our team sprang into action, hosting conversations with artists about healing and hope across our radio stations and online sites.

The response was overwhelmingly positive! It was clear that authentic conversations like these are key in fighting the stigma of mental illness and helping people feel safe to talk about whatever they might be going through or dealing with.

Since then, we’ve expanded I’m Listening to an annual live national broadcast and online home that brings together artists, athletes and medical specialists from across the nation to share their own experiences with mental health. Each year, we’re moved by the stories that celebrities, influencers and our listeners share with us as they tell us about their own personal experiences with mental health and suicide.

We also sought partnerships with trusted voices to help inform the conversations we lead. While we know the power of talk can save lives, we take our credibility and influence with our audience seriously. We carry the responsibility to share resources rooted in science. That’s why we’re grateful to have a partner like AFSP, so more people can find healing and hope, and the help they need.

Mental health affects us all – it’s one of the things that makes us human, and it should be celebrated and given the attention it deserves. The more that we can dig in together, be present and truly be there for one another, the more effective we can be in shifting the conversation around mental health in a positive, healthy and productive way. As we are learning from AFSP, if we can say suicide, we can stop suicide.

To join in on the conversations of hope and healing this month, tune into AFSP’s National Suicide Prevention Day Facebook Event on September 10, as well as Audacy’s national I’m Listening broadcast on September 23. Together, each of us can use our voice year-round to raise awareness for mental health and save lives.

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