Grammy Award-winning artist, Lil Nas X is named this year’s Suicide Prevention Advocate, the Trevor Project announced on Wednesday.
The nonprofit says Lil Nas X's “openness about struggling with his sexuality and suicidal ideation, his continued advocacy around mental health issues, and his unapologetic celebration of his queer identity.”
The group is dedicated to suicide prevention and crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people.
We're thrilled to honor @LilNasX with our Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award 💖— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) September 1, 2021
During #SuicidePreventionMonth, we're celebrating all you do to support and inspire LGBTQ young people, while raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention in our community 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/iP99q1cIJl
In an interview, Amit Paley, CEO and executive director at The Trevor Project, said that Nas has brought "profound" awareness and attention to suicide prevention and mental health.
“He has done it in a way that has resonated and impacted communities where these conversations are often taboo, but where they are so needed,” Paley said.
“The fact that he has been so open, so vulnerable about his mental health journey, his thoughts of suicide, he is really helping to destigmatize conversations that are too often shrouded in shame.”
Earlier this year, Lil Nas X shared personal TikTok videos about his life, including his struggles with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts during his rise to fame.
A month later, the “Old Town Road” singer penned a heartfelt letter to his 14-year-old self about coming out publicly to mark the release of "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)."
In it he expresses, "I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."
In May, the artist released the music video for “SUN GOES DOWN,” which depicts Lil Nas X uplifting a younger version of himself in high school when he was contemplating suicide and struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.
In a statement, the Montero artist thanked the organization for its continued hard work within the LGBTQ+ community and highlighted that many are still facing discrimination around the world.
“Discrimination around sexuality and gender identity is still very real, and our community deserves to feel supported and totally free to be themselves. I often get messages from fans telling me about their struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and it made me realize that this was something bigger than myself,” Lil Nas X said in a statement. "If using my voice and expressing myself in my music can help even one kid out there who feels alone, then it was all worth it.”
The award marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and aims to highlight the work that still lies ahead with regards to ending suicide among LGBTQ+ youth.
The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.