Logic’s song ‘1-800-273-8255’ saved lives from suicide, study finds

Study author Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, associate professor in the department of social and preventive medicine at the College of Medicine, said: “Celebrities can also have an important role to play in suicide prevention if they communicate information. beliefs about how they cope with crisis situations and suicidal ideation. of Vienna, Austria, in an email.

Logic told CNN from the recording studio on Monday: “Really to know that my music has really impacted people’s lives, that’s what inspired me to create the song.” .

Logic said: “We did it from a really warm place in our hearts to try to help people. And the fact that it actually did that made me think.”

Strong message

Using clear, powerful language, “1-800-273-8255” chronicles a young man’s struggles with suicidal thoughts. Instead of taking his life, the young man called the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The crisis worker answering his call is represented by alternative R&B artist Alessia Cara.

Cara sings: “It’s holding up the long way, seeing the light in the darkest of things. “And when you stare at your reflection, finally knowing who it is… I know you’ll thank God that you did.”

Logic (real name Sir Robert Bryson Hall II) told CNN he experienced crippling anxiety and depression during his 2016 tour for his second album. He said he fought back by focusing on time with his wife and getting his priorities in order.

Spurred by one-on-one conversations with fans who have told him his words mean something to their happiness, he says he wrote the song a few months ago. Several celebrities took their lives and the song became a symbol of hope.

Logic told CNN: “I won’t pretend to be someone I’m not, adding that he believes people” resonates with that. They’re like, ‘Oh, this guy looks like me.’ And so I think let’s openly discuss depression and anxiety and the dark side of life… you just talk about life, people appreciate that and can relate to it.

“I think honesty is everything, and I think people in general can smell fake, right?”

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Sharing his history of depression, “definitely makes his message more authentic and helps suicides identify lyrics more strongly,” says psychiatrist Alexandra Pitman, associate professor at University College London’s Department of Psychiatry, told CNN in an e-mail. She was not involved in the study.

“The fact that he is also a person of great admiration and popularity is also critical: this level of influence also enhances the extent to which people feel drawn to him and his message.” Pitman, who wrote a Editorial accompanying research for BMJ.

The dangers of reporting suicide

There is a well-known phenomenon, known as the Werther effect, in which a person dies by suicide after discovering his or her friend or relative has committed suicide or seeing a depiction of the original suicide on television. or in other media.

This “mimicking” syndrome gets its name from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1774 book “The Sorrows of Young Men”, in which the young Werther took his life when he was unable to obtain a woman. I love. Multiple suicides are believed to have occurred in the regions where the book was published, leading to the book being banned in several European countries.

Recent studies by Niederkrotenthaler show that media coverage of celebrity suicides has an impact on suicide rates shortly after their death.

In one study, Niederkrotenthaler said, “we found that such reports were associated with an average 13% increase in suicides in the month after reporting suicide, and adding Lifeline numbers to any any reports,” he added.

But research has yet to explore whether celebrities’ highly advertised messages about successfully battling feelings of suicide can have a positive effect, Niederkrotenthaler said.

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“The present study shows for the first time that if seeking help and recovering from a severe crisis is covered in the media, this can have a positive impact on increasing help seeking and reducing suicide,” he said.

While the study has limitations — it could only show an association, not a direct cause — it’s a “really positive example of a social pattern,” Pitman told CNN.

The study found there was “huge potential for messages conveyed by different artists and public figures to resonate with specific communities, for example those from ethnic groups, occupational groups, etc. occupations or gender or gender minorities,” added PItman.

“If they can find a way to reach those groups and improve their mental health through this form of messaging, it would be a great service to the mental health of the community,” she said. there.

“But only if they feel comfortable doing this. It would be wrong for such people to feel pressured to present themselves in this way,” Pitman said.

Logic agreed. “It has to be authentic. Whoever is spreading that message, it needs to be done from their heart,” he told CNN.

For him, that message will be simple: Look ahead.

“Yes, it sucks. It’s dust now, 100%. But it’s getting better. It’s getting a lot better – I know that because I’m speaking from experience,” Logic added.

“Spiritally, you’re not where I am right now, are you? But you are where I am, and I want you to know that you will be very happy because you keep growing and you keep trying try.”

CNN’s Ben Tinker contributed to this story.


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