This Hip Hop song linked to fewer suicides in the US

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study from the Medical University of Vienna, researchers found wide-scale public attention to the song “1-800-273-8255” by American hip hop artist Logic was linked to an increase in calls to the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and a reduction in suicides

The findings demonstrate the protective effect of positive media stories about suicidal thoughts and help seeking behavior, particularly for groups that are hard to reach with traditional messaging.

There is clear evidence that media reports of suicide can trigger further suicides, but less is known about the protective effects of reports of hope and recovery.

One exception was in April 2017, when the American hip hop artist Logic released his song “1-800-273-8255,” prominently featuring the number of the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The song describes someone in a suicidal crisis who calls the number for help, which marks a turning point towards improvement and mastery of their crisis.

The song reached number three in the US Billboard charts, and was performed at the 2017 MTV Music Awards and the 2018 Grammy Awards, generating intense public attention.

In the study, the team examined the associations between Logic’s song and daily calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number as well as daily suicides in the US.

They found that in the 34 day period immediately after the three events with the strongest public attention (the song’s release, the MTV Video Music Awards 2017, and Grammy Awards 2018), there were an extra 9,915 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, an increase of 6.9% over the expected number.

Over the same period, there was a reduction of 245 suicides or 5.5% below the expected number.

This study further supports the Papageno effect—the theory that media reports of an individual overcoming a suicidal crisis are protective against suicide.

If you care about depression, please read studies about the metal strongly linked to depression, and findings of blood pressure drugs that may help reduce depression.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about the depression drug that can help reduce death risk in COVID-19, and results showing that this beverage may cut depression in older people.

The study is published in The BMJ. One author of the study is Thomas Niederkrotenthaler.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.