There is evident proof that media experiences of suicide can set off additional suicides, however much less is understood concerning the protecting results of experiences of hope and restoration, primarily as a result of they obtain a lot much less media protection than tales of suicide demise.
One exception was in April 2017, when the American hip hop artist Logic launched his music “1-800-273-8255,” prominently that includes the variety of the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The music describes somebody in suicidal disaster who calls the quantity for assist, which marks a turning level in direction of enchancment and mastery of their disaster.
The music reached quantity three within the US Billboard charts, and was carried out on the 2017 MTV Music Awards and the 2018 Grammy Awards, producing intense public consideration.
To assess whether or not the music’s optimistic message was linked to a change in habits, researchers led by Thomas Niederkrotenthaler on the Medical University of Vienna examined the associations between Logic’s music and day by day calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline quantity in addition to day by day suicides within the US.
Using Twitter posts to estimate viewers consideration over one month, they discovered that, within the 34 day interval instantly after the three occasions with the strongest public consideration (the music’s launch, the MTV Video Music Awards 2017, and Grammy Awards 2018), there have been an additional 9,915 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a rise of 6.9% over the anticipated quantity.
Over the identical interval, there was a discount of 245 suicides or 5.5% beneath the anticipated quantity.
This is an observational examine, so cannot set up trigger, and the researchers level to some limitations. For instance, it’s unclear if the music had any results past the intervals of largest consideration, and social media information won’t absolutely seize how many individuals listened to the music.
But they had been in a position to account for a number of doubtlessly influential elements, and findings had been largely unchanged after additional analyses.
As such, they are saying these findings “emphasize the potential population health benefits of working creatively and innovatively with other sectors, such as the music and entertainment industries, to promote new impactful stories of help seeking that resonate with broad audiences, leave a visible footprint on social media, and are safe in terms of not featuring potentially lethal actions but rather coping and mastery of crisis.”
“Interventions that follow these principles could help create behavioral change to increase help seeking and prevent suicide,” they add.
This examine additional helps the Papageno impact – the speculation that media experiences of a person overcoming a suicidal disaster are protecting in opposition to suicide, writes Alexandra Pitman at University College London, in a linked editorial.
She says additional work is required to assist us perceive the intervention’s seemingly mechanism of motion, however till then, she welcomes the dedication of key cultural influencers “to help amplify public health interventions intended to strengthen protection against suicide in specific vulnerable groups.”