Content Warning: This post discusses suicide.
A new study has found a song by hip hop artist Logic which recites the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States, may’ve saved hundreds of people from taking their own lives.
The song, called “1-800-273-8255” was released in April 2017. It’s accompanying video centres around a young, gay, Black man who faces discrimination and bullying and is preparing to take his own life, but reaches out to the helpline instead.
Researchers studied the changes to daily call volumes during periods of wide public attention for the song including the time of its release, and Logic’s performances at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2018 Grammys.
The results published in the British Medical Journal showed close to 10,000 extra calls were made to the helpline around those times – a noticeable increase – and there was a decrease in the number of suicides which they equate to saving an estimated 245 people.
They also observed a reduction in suicides in the periods with the most social media chatter about the song.
Researchers say the study could serve as evidence that when mainstream media focus on things like “hope and recovery” in a crisis, it could be helpful:
“These findings emphasise the potential population health benefits of working creatively and innovatively with other sectors, such as the music and entertainment industries, to promote new impactful stories of help-seeking that resonate with broad audiences, leave a visible footprint on social media, and are safe in terms of not featuring potentially lethal actions but rather coping and mastery of crises.”
You can learn more about the study HERE.
If you or anyone you know needs support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia or please reach out to your local helpline in your country. You are never alone.
(Feature Image Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)