Kehlani knows what darkness feels like. Recently, we wrote about Kehlani’s hospitalisation following her suicide attempt due to the fiasco surrounding a barrage of online hate, regarding her personal relationships. Now, video footage has emerged of the R&B singer at her show in Oakland, California, her first show since since the hospitalisation, talking about mental illness and the importance of suicide prevention.
“Tell somebody and please don’t try it. Don’t do it,” she tells the crowd. “It wasn’t a first time thing [for me] and that’s not okay… not [for] the people around you, not [for] the people that love you, not [for] the people that care about you. I know everyone has access to the suicide prevention number. If not, I’m sure going to be working with them a lot and advocating with them because it’s something that so many young people are dealing with.”
“So many young people just slip under the rug to things like depression and severe anxiety, and many [other] disorders that people know nothing about. So if you have a friend, and they’re scaring you a little, just love them, okay? Just love them up and tell them that it’s good.”
Kehlani’s speech is important. Her voice mimmicks the sentiments felt by many. Mental illness, especially in youths, is hardly spoken about or championed for within the music industry. And by admitting her vulnerabilities, Kehlani has us shown her strength. She has spoken out for the many who are still silenced by their grief.
“And from me to you,” she continues. “You are worth it. You are perfect. You need to be here every single day… you are meant to be here. Get up every day and know that and tell yourself that, okay? And I love you all very much.” The crowd erupts. “This is my first show back after a while… and this is one of the first genuine smiles in a few weeks, so thank you.”
Check out Kehlani’s bravery in the empowering speech above and take a listen to ’24/7′, recounting her experience with mental illness, below. It will surely inspire you throughout your week.
- Words: Louis Hanson