“I’ve made mistakes,” thus confessed Logan Paul as he returned to YouTube on Wednesday for the first time since facing severe backlash over a controversial video that appeared to show the body of an alleged suicide victim in Japan.
The 22-year-old social media star — who deleted the video, apologized, and shut down his page in the wake of the controversy – created a seven-minute clip solely dedicated to suicide education and prevention.
“I know I’ve let people down. But what happens when you’re given an opportunity to help make a difference in the world?” he says in the clip. “It’s time to learn from the past as I get better and grow as a human being. I’m here to have a hard conversation as those who are suffering can have easier ones. ”
“It’s time to start a new chapter in my life as I continue to educate myself and others on suicide,” he says. “I’m humbled and thankful to say, this is just the beginning.”
In the video, titled “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow,” Paul meets with Alo House Recovery Centers founder Bob Forrest and National Suicide Prevention Hotline director Dr. John Draper to learn about the issue — which takes the lives of about 800,000 people worldwide a year.
“I’ve never been so humbled in my life by a single event. I was shocked to discover just how big this is,” Paul says, admitting he never knew anyone who committed suicide despite being from Ohio, where suicide is the second leading cause of death. “That was part of the problem, just my ignorance on the subject. While I’m not able to solve the problem by myself, I want to be part of the solution.”
Paul shares 5 simple steps people can use when confronted with someone considering suicide. They are:
- Step 1: Simply just ask, ‘Are you thinking about suicide?;
- Step 2: Listen, be present, don’t make any judgments.
- Step 3: Be there for them. Dependability is key.
- Sept 4: Help them connect. Whether it’s with a friend, a family member, a local suicide hotline, a therapist.
- Step 5: Check in on them. Show them you care.
“I think as a society, as human beings, we just have to be more compassionate,” he says. “That includes me too — that’s something I’m learning on this journey.”
Paul also met with author Kevin Hines, who survived a suicide attempt after jumping off the Golden Gate bridge 17 years ago.
“All I wanted was for one person to look me in the eyes and say, ‘Hey kid, are you okay?’ ” Hines says. “I am so grateful to be alive and so grateful today for every millisecond I get to breathe. Because it was all almost all ripped from me by me.”
Hines recalls standing at the ledge of the Golden Gate bridge in tears for 40 minutes, thinking nobody cared. When he jumped, he said he instantly felt regret.
“The depression was wiped from my mind and all I wanted to do was live. And I thought, ‘It’s too late,’ ” Hines remembers.
He now suggests others reach out to help those in similar pain.
“I would just say, ‘I’m here for you. I got you,’ ” Hines says. “We need to be a society that comes together for every person in the community that’s going through hell. And in order to do that, every person that’s going through hell — whatever hell — has to be honest about their pain.
And if they’re going to be honest about their pain, we are going to collectively answer the call and be there for that person. Because if you don’t see beauty in the next person that you meet, you’re not looking hard enough.”
Paul is trying to do just that now, and said he is going to make an effort to contribute and immerse himself in that conversation.
“I’m pledging to donate $1 million to various suicide prevention organizations with the first $250,000 going immediately to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline so they can increase their capacity to help those in need,” he says.
“For anyone watching, I want you to know you are not alone and most of the time, crisis passes,” he adds. “If you or anyone you know feels alone or trapped, I encourage you to call or even text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Both of those numbers are below and although this is a tough conversation, this is important because things can and will get better.”
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