A phone rings. It’s 2am. “I have a noose,” the caller tells me. “Give me two minutes to make tea,” I reply. “Let’s talk.”
It’s not the first call I’ve taken from someone in distress, nor will it be the last. From days spent moderating online support forums for those struggling with self-harm, eating disorders and sexual violence — giving out my private phone number to those who return often, calling paramedics for others in danger — to working on a crisis line for survivors of sexual violence, I’ve been an ally witness to the horrors and isolation so many experience across the world. When my body was more healthy and able, I walked and raised funds for Kids Help Phone, a charity dear to my heart. Having taken those calls — and having made calls of my own in my youth — I am aware of the power the act of speaking and being truly heard can hold for so many.
It saves lives, each and every day and night.
Montreal rockers ERA 9 recently asked renowned songwriter Martin Deschamps for assistance in translating their track “Oxygen” (available on their Turn Day EP) into French. The powerful result: a collaboration that haunts and mesmerizes with nearly the same intensity of the video for the track. A powerful anti-bullying theme runs beneath the images of three stories of youth ensnared in their isolation and pain who ultimately find a way to breathe.
It is a beautiful testament to the struggle and the importance of supports like these.
Watch the video for “Oxygène” below. You can learn more about ERA 9 here or Martin Deschamps here. And please, consider supporting Kids Help Phone (Canada-wide), the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, RAINN (USA), the LGBT Youthline (Ontario) or the Trevor Project (USA), organizations there for those who struggle, who take that call.