The iHeartRadio MMVAs Were A Big Win for Mental Health

Shawn Mendes, Logic, and Halsey took home three of the night's biggest awards for work that gets real about mental illness

iHeartRadio MMVAs Shawn Mendes on stage performing "In My Blood"

Photo: Getty

Shawn Mendes picked up four awards at the iHeartRadio MMVAs in Toronto on August 26 (including winning Artist of the Year), but his biggest win was the one he made for mental health awareness—earning the Fan Fave Video award for his hit song “In My Blood,” a track the 20-year-old singer says is about his own battle with anxiety.

Upon the the single’s release in March 2018, Mendes told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe about the inspiration behind it, detailing his own experience with anxiety as his fame began to rise. “It was kind of something that hit me within the last year,” Mendes said. “[“In My Blood”] is complete truth and the best thing about it is, it’s not all down. The whole reason I wrote this song was to be like, at the end, ‘It’s not in my blood to do that.’”

“The only way things are going to get better is if it’s more honest,” Mendes said in the interview—and further reflected on the progress he’s made in respect to his mental health at the MMVAs this weekend. “I remember three years ago feeling very nervous and scared and overwhelmed and now I’m here and it’s all love and support,” Mendes said on the red carpet prior to the show. (Fittingly, he ended off the night with an emotional performance of “In My Blood.”)

Mendes wasn’t the only nominee to earn a MMVA or getting real about mental health—Logic’s “1-800-273-8255,” named for the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, took home Video of the Year—the biggest award of the night. The music video accompanying the song follows a young man trying to find acceptance for his sexuality, which leads him to the brink of suicide.

The moving vid—in which Alessia Cara and Khalid guest star—was released in August 2017 and has garnered over 285 million views on YouTube; the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline received the second-highest daily call volume to date after its release.  Logic called the song “the most important song” he’s ever written—tweeting: “I made this song for all of you who are in a dark place and can’t seem to find the light.”

Alessia Cara—who also performed her song  “Growing Pains” at the awards show—accepted the award on Logic’s behalf, saying “This is Logic’s award. This is his song, this is his message. I was just really, really honoured to be a part of it.” The singer continued: “I hope this video and this song made you feel something.”

Halsey joined Logic and Mendes as the third artist of the night to earn an award for her mental health advocacy as the first *ever* recipient of the MMVAs’ new Artist for Change Award. Halsey is known for her involvement in the #ImListening campaign—a program that launched in September 2017 on World Suicide Day to end the stigma around mental health, and she’s also vocal about LGBT rights, violence against women and fighting for gender equality.

Halsey used her time on the MMVA stage as an opportunity to discuss why she’s taking a stand for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. “I think if you end up with a platform, you need to use that platform to uplift the people that gave you that platform to begin with,” she said.

These three awards were not only a win for these celebs, but their advocacy work to end the stigma around mental illness was an even *bigger* win for the mental health community. And that’s definitely something to celebrate.


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