Song Titled With Suicide Prevention Phone Number May Have Stopped Hundreds Of Deaths
A US rapper’s song titled ‘1-800-273-8255’, which is the number for a suicide prevention helpline, could actually have saved hundreds of lives, a study has found.
Logic’s song was released in April 2017, and research by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found there was a ‘large increase’ in calls to the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – known as Lifeline – in the 34 days after the song’s debut.
The study states that the times when it had the most impact on suicide prevention was after the song’s release and Logic’s performance of the song at MTV’s Music Video Awards in April 2017.
There was also a noticeable reduction in suicides in the periods when there was the most social media discourse about the song.
In a nutshell, ‘1-800-273-8255’ tells the story of a man struggling with his mental health and considering ending his life. He decides to phone Lifeline, however, which saves his life.
An accompanying music video, which was released in August 2017 and has since received more than 419 million views on YouTube, depicts a young Black man struggling with discrimination and bullying for being gay. He prepares for his suicide, but ultimately takes his phone and calls Lifeline, which marks a turning point towards improvement and mastery of his crisis.
You can watch the music video below – warning, these lyrics reference suicide:
‘Suicide prevention and education efforts must harness positive media to educate the general public and high risk groups about suicide prevention without doing harm to individuals at risk,’ the researchers said.
‘But a major dilemma for research in this area has been that stories of hope and recovery receive much less media coverage than stories of suicide death.
The release of the song in April 2017 marked the start of a series of media events promoting the story of hope and recovery featured in the song, along with the phone number of Lifeline.
‘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,’ the researchers concluded.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123
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