Logic's song '1-800-273-8255' linked to fewer suicides, study suggestsIn 2017, the rapper Logic named a song after the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number. A new study has found it may have had a remarkable impact.
"Overall, we saw about 26-27% increase in calls that year," Draper said. "The overall water level, so to speak, had risen and largely due — we believe — to the song."
Researchers linked three events to surges in calls: the song's release; Logic's performances at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards; and the 2018 Grammy Awards. This is an example of what's called the Papageno effect, when a piece of media changes an individual's decision to die by suicide.
Ke$ha introduces Logic's MTV VMA performance
Researchers also found there was some evidence of a reduction in suicides, possibly as many as 245 fewer deaths.
"The present analysis indicates that periods that were strongly associated with an uptick in calls showed a simultaneous decrease in suicides," the study's authors wrote.
"We have not established whether calling behavior affected people who did (or did not) die by suicide after the song's release."
Still, Draper said the song's message made an impression.
"I thought it was brilliant how the song never mentioned the service, but just puts the number on there," he said. "So you first digest the experience of what it's like to make this call and go through this personal drama that this caller is having. And then, you see a number attached to it ... so it takes the person on a journey not only through a story of hope and recovery, but a place to go to get that."
If Logic ever releases a follow-up to that song, it might have a much shorter title. Next July, the hotline changes simply to 988.
If you or a loved one has contemplated suicide, operators on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provide 24/7 free and confidential support. Give them a call at 1-800-273-8255.