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New Study Proves Logic's Mainstream Mental Health Conversation Works

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Logic’s 2017 hip-hop anthem for the hopeless — 1-800-273-8255 — takes its title from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The hotline has helped thousands, maybe even millions since its inception in 2004. A new study found an increase in calls to the suicide hotline in the aftermath of Logic’s suicide prevention anthem.

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline operates 24/7 and fielded more than 2.2 million calls in 2018, which was also the wake of Logic’s number-mentioning song. Among other methods, the study examined chatter on Twitter and concluded there was a reduction in suicides during the periods with the “most social media discourse about the song.”

The three most visible moments of exposure for the tune include the period surrounding its release, the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) 2017, and the Grammy Awards 2018. Logic performed “1-800-273-8255” at both awards shows.

After 2017’s VMAs, calls to the hotline spiked 50%, CNN said. According to the new study, in the days following those events, the Lifeline received an uptick of 9,915 calls. For the same period, the song was determined to have saved 245 people from suicide, which was 5.5% fewer suicides beyond the expected number.

Logic tweeted in 2017: “Over the years so many of you guys have told me that my music has helped you through so many tough times… Many of you have told me it’s even saved your life. I’m beyond humbled. But I felt I haven’t done enough… I made this song for all of you who are in a dark place and can’t seem to find the light.”

In the thought-provoking music video that accompanies “1-800-273-8255” — viewed 432 million times on YouTube — Logic paints a visceral portrait of a Black American teenager struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. Boy meets boy and the video depicts the two together in high school, leading up to marriage and fatherhood.

The video features Don Cheadle (the “Avengers” films, “Traffic”) and Luis Guzman (“Magnolia,” “Boogie Nights”).

The song’s lyrics run deep:

I’ve been on the low, I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
I feel like my life ain’t mine
I don’t wanna be alive, I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today, I just wanna die

Then Logic shifts his message:

I want you to be alive, I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die

And then at the end of the song, he spits this:

I finally wanna be alive, I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die today, I don’t wanna die

The effect of Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” is nothing short of amazing.

Music makes us feel good as hell. That’s the power of music. It’s a galvanizing force that has the gusto to entertain and the moxie to lift our spirits. It inspires us to dance and unites our friends on the dance floor. It can also be revolutionary. And with “1-800-273-8255,” Logic embodies all of this.

I can vouch for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I have personally called the hotline a few times in the past when I was suicidal. Just talking to someone unbiased has saved me from the scourge of suicide. Although I’m certain my worst days are behind me, just knowing that lifeline exists provides me with comfort.

 If you find yourself in dire straits of suicidal ideation, give the hotline a ring.

Lead image via Logic’s Facebook

Originally published: December 22, 2021
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