WARNING! This post is sensitive in nature. It does not relate to the beer industry in any way.
However, we're a business that values helpful information to assist those in need. We hope to be a resource and a listening ear for the community when talking about difficult issues. This is a subject that affects many people; most likely someone you know. I feel very strongly about getting this info out into the world.
If you need help please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click the link to text, chat or communicate in whatever way works best for you.
An update. 2/15/18. I stand by this article and the importance of suicide prevention. But not long after I posted the article below and encouraged everyone to give Logan Paul another chance, he decides to act like a fool. I'm not going into details, you can read about it here. Please pay attention to the content of the post but never give Logan Paul another thought. Freakin' idiot. So much for learning a life lesson.
Last summer the family and I went on an awesome vacation. We flew to Seattle for 3 days, spent over a week in Alaska, and then finished with 3 days in Los Angeles. For Peyton, my 10 year old daughter, LA was the highlight of the trip. She is a huge fan of and Jake Paul and Team 10. If you are not familiar with Jake Paul, he became famous on Vine, garnering over 5 million followers. He then found a way to transfer that following to YouTube (over 13 million followers!) and turn it into millions of dollars. Seriously.
Look, I'm 48 years old and I just don't get it. Internet influencers who are in their late teens and early 20's are making a killing out there. As a business man, I'm impressed. As a GenX, pre-internet child of the 80's, I could not care less about their content. All I see is a bunch of young punks being completely silly and getting paid for it.
While in LA we actually went to the Team 10 house and stood outside their gate with at least 30 other pre-teen girls just waiting for a glimpse of one of their YouTube heroes. Somebody (I don't recall who) came outside to take out the trash and everyone went crazy. But this story is not about Jake Paul. It's about his brother Logan Paul.
Logan is also an internet hero to a lot of kids. My daughter follows Logan and the others so I try to keep an eye on things they are doing. In December of 2017 Logan Paul went to Japan's Aokigahara forest. This locale has been nicknamed "suicide forest". While there, Logan came upon a person who had just committed suicide. Being the bright young man he is, Logan decides to film a video that made fun of the victim. The video has since been taken down but it garnered over 6 million views in 24 hours. My son who saw the video before it was removed from YouTube. He claimed Logan was making fun of the body and that the people with Logan were saying it was not right and they needed to leave. I did not see it but this portion of the video is still out there. Much tamer but you can get a feel for what the original video must have been like.
Cue huge backlash for Logan. He loses followers and goes underground. Until now. Logan has returned with a new message that is meant to make people aware of suicide. Please watch it here. Or below. Seriously, please watch it.
Many people are calling Logan Paul out saying this video is not enough. That he is only doing this to recover from the backlash of his earlier mistake. I disagree. What I see is a young man that just learned a very important life lesson and is using that lesson to grow and to help others. Kudos to you Logan Paul. Ignore the naysayers. This video will help people. You did good.
Let's get personal. I've had work associates, family and friends who have suffered from depression and some have attempted suicide. Unfortunately I can name more than one person who was successful. When I was in my teens I had fairly serious suicidal thoughts. I've never admitted that before so my family may be shocked to read this. Those thoughts eventually went away as I grew older. I've told myself it's just a normal phase that every teenager goes through. Now as I'm doing research I'm not so sure that's the case. People don't just "grow out of it". Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24. If you are a parent or have friends in this age group, please talk to them. Don't ignore depression and just assume it is a phase they will grow out of.
What can you do? Spread the word about suicide prevention. Share #BeThe1To’s 5 action steps. Learn about each step and why the steps are effective here.
#BeThe1To Ask - Ask the tough question. When somebody you know is in emotional pain, ask them directly: "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
#BeThe1To Keep Them Safe - Is your friend thinking about suicide? Ask if they've thought about how they would do it and separate them from anything they could use to hurt themselves.
#BeThe1To Be There - If your friend is thinking about suicide, listen to their reasons for feeling hopeless and in pain. Listen with compassion and empathy and without dismissing or judging.
#BeThe1To Help Them Connect - Help your friend connect to a support system, whether it's 800-273- TALK(8255), family, friends, clergy, coaches, co-workers or therapists, so they have a network to reach out to for help.
#BeThe1To Follow Up - Check in with the person you care about on a regular basis. Making contact with a friend in the days and weeks after a crisis can make a difference in keeping them alive.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please keep your eyes and ears open and be there for your loved ones. Don't be afraid to ask them the tough question. The answer may surprise you.
Cheers/God Bless/Love and Light - John Cochran