The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse: The Importance of Logic's "1-800-273-8255"
While many believe Britney Spears’ performance of “I’m A Slave 4 U” at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards to be the most iconic VMA production to date, rapper “Logic” may have surpassed the pop star’s legendary showmanship with the performance of his new song “1-800-273-8255”.
For those who may not be aware, 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which has been in place for nearly 12 years and contains over 150 volunteers, eager to assist those seeking mental help. After struggling with longstanding depression and suicide contemplation, 27-year-old rapper, “Logic”, felt the anthem was crucial for his listeners. The rapper was also accompanied on stage by fellow suicide attempt survivors, wearing white T-shirts with the words “You are not alone” and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s phone number.
In a series of tweets, he explained the importance of music and its relation to mental health. "Over the years so many of you guys have told me that my music has helped you through so many tough times," he wrote. "Many of you have told me its 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."
John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, stated to CNN, "The impact has been pretty extraordinary. On the day the song was released, we had the second-highest call volume in the history of our service." Following his performance, the Lifeline received a 50% increase in phone calls, with a 33% increase from the same time last year. "It's not just about the calls,” Draper states, “It's about increasing awareness about suicide, and suicide prevention in particular. The calls don't even begin to count the number of people who, just by listening to the song and hearing the lyrics, feel more hopeful and less alone.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please acknowledge all of the warning signs. The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 assistance, and is happy to take your call.