Halsey, Lizzo, Shawn Mendes and Tegan and Sara are among the artists taking part in “I’m Listening,” a radio program that aims to raise mental health awareness. The two-hour, commercial-free broadcast special will air on 235 Entercom stations on September 8th – the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week – at 7 a.m. local time.
Blink-182, Disturbed and numerous athletes, first responders and mental health professionals will also take part in the special, with listeners participating via live call-in and an interactive website.
Lizzo has been candid about her struggles with mental health on social media, writing on Instagram in June, “I’m depressed and there’s no one I can talk to because there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Life hurts.”
Following an outpouring of support, Lizzo posted the following day, “I learned in the last 24hrs that being emotionally honest can save your life. Reaching out may be hard but as soon as I did it, I was immediately covered in love. I used to think of sadness as a constant with fleeting moments of joy in between… but it’s a wave.”
“When I opened up about my mental health episode a few months ago, I was triggered like I normally am, and honestly it’s happened to me a bunch, and I’ve opened up on the internet about it a bunch… I just didn’t have a million followers when I did it, so it didn’t connect with as many people as it did this time,” Lizzo said in a video for “I’m Listening.”
“I think issues around identity and mental health are intrinsically linked,” Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara said in a statement of the double stigmas around health and discrimination in the LGBTQ community.
“It makes sense to me now, that if I don’t talk about my feelings, I’m not going to feel well, I’m not going to be well,” Quin added. Through the work that we do with The Tegan and Sara Foundation, and some of the staggering statistics surrounding queer people and mental health, we hope that by talking about some of our experiences as young people, that it will encourage others to do the same.”
“Mental health and suicide prevention is a year-round initiative at Entercom and we are doing our part to end the stigma by encouraging people to talk,” Entercom’s chief programming officer Pat Paxton said in a statement. “Like millions of others, my family has been impacted by mental health issues and the effect it has on friends and families is devastating. ‘I’m Listening’ is when our vast network of radio stations and digital platforms unite on the same day, at the same time, to ultimately save lives. If we help just one person, our time will have been well spent.”