Study Says Hit Logic Song Has Prevented Hundreds Of Suicides In The U.S.

Photo: Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock.com
Logic performing

Famous rapper Logic released a song in 2017 titled ‘1-800-273-8255’ alongside Alessia Cara and Khalid — the title being the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

After performing the song live at the MTV Video Music Awards that same year, the lifeline reported a 50% increase in calls and saw an increase in calls over the whole year since the song’s release.

A new study by the British Medical Journal shows that aside from this massive increase in calls to the lifeline, there was a reduction in suicides among 10- to 19-year-olds during three time periods.

The study shows that Logic’s song prevented hundreds of suicides in the U.S.

In addition to nearly 10,000 more calls to the 1-800-273-8255 lifeline, the BMJ study revealed that there was a 5.5% reduction in suicides among 10- to 19-year-olds within the first 34 days of the song’s release, Logic's performance at the 2017 MTV awards, and an additional widely promoted performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards.

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The introduction to the study includes various events that result in increases or decreases in suicides like the repeated reporting of suicide deaths and celebrity suicides or how stories of hope and people who survived their suicidal tendencies prevented further suicides.

They attributed the release of Logic’s song as one of these events that have prevented suicides and decided to do a time series analysis.

The method was quite simple — compare the statistics between the call data from the lifeline for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2018 and the public attention to Logic’s song in order to attribute the suicide preventions to those three separate times of confounding popularity.

They also adjusted for some exogenous variables, which included the release of the controversial Netflix adaptation of the novel ‘13 Reasons Why,’ as well as the celebrity suicides of Chris Cornell, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Chester Bennington, and Avicii aka Tim Bergling.

“Logic’s song generated 81,953 tweets by 55,471 unique users,” the study reported, “posted between 1 March 2017 and 30 April 2018,” with noticeably large peaks during those three periods.

According to the combined analysis for all three time periods, the three main media events indicated an excess of 9915 calls to the lifeline and a decrease of 245 suicides — that’s a 6.9% increase in calls and a 5.5% decrease in suicides.

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CNN reached out to Logic for a comment regarding the new study that was released, to which he replied, "To know that my music was actually affecting people's lives, truly, that's what inspired me to make the song.”

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"We did it from a really warm place in our hearts to try to help people. And the fact that it actually did, that blows my mind," he continued.

Logic himself has talked about his struggles with depression and anxiety and feeling like he’s not good enough.

"I've been praying for somebody to save me, no one's heroic ... And my life don't even matter, I know it, I know it ... They say every life precious but nobody care about mine ..." read the lyrics of the song before turning into a hopeful message where he repeats, “I want you to be alive.”

This study goes to show the powerful effect that both music and celebrities have on their fans and the general public — to be able to save hundreds of people’s lives with the performance of a song is truly a wonderful thing.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.