Phones ring off the hook at ‘1-800-273-8255’

Kate O’Hagan, Tempo Editor

Photo courtesy of Twitter user @thefader.
Logic’s song has increased phone calls to National Sucide Prevention Hotline.

Since Logic’s hit song “1-800-273-8255” first debuted in April, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (after which the song is named) has seen record numbers.

“1-800,” which paints a story of the internal conflict that people suffering from mental health issues face, was released with the full cooperation of the NSPL.

“[Logic’s team] wanted permission from us to use the number, and of course, we were all delighted to let that happen,” said Director of NSPL, John Draper. “Sometimes just knowing this service is there can make people feel more hopeful.”

According to the organization, calls are up 33 percent compared to 2016, and the organization is seeing three times the activity on Facebook.

“We had the second-highest call volume in the history of our service the day of the song’s release,” Draper told ’Variety,’ adding that it’s remained high ever since.

According to Draper, one thing many of the callers share is that “the song made a difference.” The numbers aren’t in yet for the boost that followed Logic’s performance of the hit single after the MTV Music Video Awards on Aug. 27, but the estimate is huge given the power of the performance.

Not only was Logic joined by Khalid and Alessia Cara who are featured on the song, but he was also joined by numerous volunteers wearing T-shirts displaying the lifeline’s number, each of whom had their own personal experience with suicide.

Draper told Variety that the performance goes far past the statistics.

“To stand up there, not only with the number on their backs, but the message that you’re not alone — that, we thought, was most important to get out there. And Logic and his team effectively did that,” said Draper.

Draper isn’t the only one impressed by Logic’s performance.

“Seeing someone start such an important conversation on such a massive stage was pretty cool to watch,” said senior business administration major Sarah Wieczorek. “It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s important to get the help you need.”

The powerful VMA performance came right before the start of National Suicide Prevention Month, which continues through September.

Given the recent suicide of Linkin Park singer, Chester Bennington, Draper noted that there is renewed urgency, particularly noting that an important public health message is often missed: the journey to recovery.

“Celebrities will say they’ve had these experiences, but we don’t hear a lot about how they got through it. They don’t really say what helped,” said Draper.

For that, Draper praised VMA host Katy Perry for recently opening up about past suicidal thoughts, but added, “We would love to hear more of a conversation.”

Celebrities heard Draper’s call, and took over radios everywhere on World Suicide Prevention Day Sept. 10 for the “I’m Listening” campaign. Stars like Halsey, Jack Antonoff, Khalid and many more used the airwaves to educate on how to speak with those who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. The celebs also opened up about their own personal struggles with mental health, concluding with how they were able to get through it.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Lewis Health & Counseling Services at 815-836-5455.

Kate O’Hagan is a senior public relations/advertising major. This is her first year as tempo editor for The Flyer after being a frequent contributor last year. She has very simple dreams of writing with Shonda Rhimes, eating ice cream with Joe Biden and scaring people with Ellen DeGeneres.

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