Following recent events – in which popular YouTuber Logan Paul uploaded a video featuring the body of a person who had died by suicide in the Aokigahara forest, Japan – we feel it necessary to express our views on this matter, as it highlights exactly why more needs to be done surrounding knowledge and acceptance of mental illness.
Sometimes we can’t control our initial reactions to something that horrifies or shocks us – we understand that. Had Logan just reacted badly and childish around his friends, then his apology might have been enough.
But he didn’t stop there.
It is one thing to make an insensitive mistake in the face of a horrific tragedy. It is a whole other event when you share this reaction with a network of millions of people in order to gain popularity and ‘likes’.
Logan Paul showed no consideration for the victim, or their family, when he posted this video to his 20 million subscribers. He did it solely for his own personal gain, understanding exactly what he was doing in the process.
He is heard in the introduction to the final video saying “This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted to this channel. I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever. Now with that said: Buckle the **** up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again!”
The video was also uploaded using the title “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest …” Referring to a suicide as a “moment in YouTube history” just goes to show how little regard and respect he has for the feelings of others.
His insensitive and immature attitude towards such an upsetting and serious issue, is the perfect example as to why more needs to be done to make sure that those with mental health issues are treated with the same dignity and respect as those without.
More needs to be done to highlight the fact that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. And more needs to be done to educate people, so that they have the knowledge and understanding to react appropriately in difficult situations. Mental health education would teach these people that it is more important to support people who are suffering and show respect to those who die by suicide – instead of making a spectacle of them.
If Logan Paul is truly sorry for his actions, it will take more than words and a video to get this across.
The victim of this suicide – who died alone in this forest after being tortured by inner pain – does not deserve to be a prop for someone to laugh at, make money or benefit from.
The victim’s family and friends have not only been left devastated, but now they have to deal with the fact that their loved one was used as a money-maker and a joke, by an incredibly disrespectful individual who chose to plaster this horrendous event all over the internet.
Saying sorry is one thing. Meaning it and acting upon it is something completely different. If Logan Paul is genuinely remorseful of his actions, then we call upon him to prove it and make a significant donation to the victim’s family in compensation. Or – at the very least – a donation to fund mental health research and education.