Whether or not you thought it was cringe or misinformed or well-intentioned, there is now proof that Logic’s song about suicide actually helped prevent many suicides.
According to a study published in the BMJ, Logic’s song did indeed save lives. How do they prove that? Let’s get into it.
The study was set in the U.S. between the January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2018. The entire U.S. population were “participants” as the researchers measured daily calls to the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
What they found was that during the 34-day period after the song’s release on April 27, 2017, and during Logic’s performances at both the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2018 Grammy’s, the suicide prevention line receive an additional 9,915 calls. This roughly translates to about a 6.8% increase over the expected number. During this period there were an estimated 245 fewer suicides, or 5.5% below, than the expected number. This was corroborated by recorded spikes in Twitter activity around these three events.
The song, according to the study, may represent what is called the Papageno effect. This is where the mass media presents alternatives to suicide and plays a role in actually preventing it. most of the time, the media does the complete opposite of this by fixating on the suicides of celebrities and thus causing further suicides. This is known as the Werther effect.
Don’t believe that? In a separate 2020 study, researchers found that the risk of suicide was up 13% after a celebrity suicide. This study also made mention of Logic’s song, as it may have been the “broadest and most sustained suicide prevention messaging directly connected to a story of hope and recovery.”
Logic told CNN that, “To know that my music was actually affecting people’s lives, truly, that’s what inspired me to make the song. We did it from a really warm place in our hearts to try to help people.”
If you are having suicidal thoughts please reach out to Lifeline Australia at 13 11 44 or visit their website.
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