Thanks to Logic’s song, the phones at ‘1-800-273-8255’ are ringing off the hook

Since Logic’s hit song “1-800-273-8255” first debuted in April, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline after which it’s named has seen record numbers in call volume  and social media engagement. Calls are up 33% when compared to 2016, and the organization, which operates nearly 160 crisis hotline centers across the country, is seeing three times the activity on Facebook. Google searches were up 100% in late spring, and have clocked a steady 25% increase since. The NSPL website, which was getting around 300,000 unique visitors a month, has reached over 400,000.

“We had the second-highest call volume in the history of our service the day of the song’s release,” says John Draper, who has been director of NSPL since 2004 and has worked in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for almost 25 years. “It’s remained high ever since.”

One commonality many of the callers share: that “the song made a difference,” he adds. “It’s incredibly heartening.”

The data has yet to be tallied for the boost that followed Logic’s performance of the hit at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards — he was joined by Khalid, Alessia Cara, and local Los Angeles volunteers in T-shirts bearing the lifeline’s number, each of whom had lived with or experienced suicide. But its significance, Draper tells Variety, goes far beyond the numbers. “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.”

Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid Khalid, from left, Logic, and Alessia Cara perform "1-800-272-8255" at the MTV Video Music Awards.

“1-800,” which puts music to the internal conflict tormenting those who feel compelled to reach out to a suicide hotline, 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,” says Draper. “Sometimes just knowing this service is there can make people feel more hopeful.”

Given recent suicides by musicians Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, Draper notes that there is renewed urgency to the cause, particularly seeing as an important public heath 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.” For that, Draper praises VMAs host Katy Perry for recently opening up about past suicidal thoughts, but adds, “We would love to hear more of a conversation.”

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MTV VMAs 2017: Red carpet arrivals
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MTV VMAs 2017: Red carpet arrivals
Paris Jackson nails the boho-chic aesthetic in an intricately-detailed sheer slip over nude undergarments.
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Nicki Minaj attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Host Katy Perry is white-hot in a figure-hugging gown with a square train and one-shoulder asymmetric neckline.
Lorde was one of the best dressed of the night in a strapless lavender gown with a scene-stealing feather-fringe skirt. 
She's here and she's sheer! Demi Lovato paired sequined black joggers with a lace-trimmed nude bodysuit.
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Dinah Jane, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei and Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Heidi Klum attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Vanessa Hudgens bared her thighs in a fiery red ankle-length gown with textured overlay. Perfectly-coordinated strappy stilettos finished the hot look.
Ed Sheeran stuck to casual favorites -- a dark shirt and sneakers -- while Jennie Pegouskie, who co-starred in his "Shape of You" video, upped the glam in white.
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Hailey Baldwin attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Savage (L) and Amber Rose attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Pink attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: (L-R) Pink, Willow Sage Hart and Carey Hart attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Olivia Munn attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Kesha attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Hailee Steinfeld attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV)
Recording artist Kendrick Lamar arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards 2017, in Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TOMMASO BODDI (Photo credit should read TOMMASO BODDI/AFP/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Yara Shahidi attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
Queen Elsa, is that you?! Julia Michaels glittered in an allover-sequined ombre blue gown with tulle underlay.
Farrah Abraham paired a structured white top with skintight pants and metallic thigh-high boots.
...and by her side was her daughter, Sophia, who opted for metallics just like her mom in a silver crop top and leggings.
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Bebe Rexha attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Shawn Mendes attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Cardi B took a risk in a white cutout pantsuit with a full-length train -- and it paid off! The dramatic number blended sexy with couture.
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Noah Cyrus attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Josh Peck attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
For DNCE -- Jack Lawless, Joe Jonas, JinJoo Lee and Cole Whittle -- it was a "go big or go home" mentality as each member committed to his or her own bold style. Shoutout to Joe Jonas for that lavender-trimmed ivory blazer!
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Singer Khalid attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Billy Eichner attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Tiffany Haddish attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Renee Bargh attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Chanel West Coast attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Justina Valentine attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Actor Andrea Russett attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Gary Shirley attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Bretman Rock attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Jessica Andrea (L) and Logic attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Matt Rife attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: (L-R) Graham Sierota, Sydney Sierota and Noah Sierota of musical group Echosmith attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Laura Perlongo (L) and Nev Schulman attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: (L-R) Brandon Arreaga, Nick Mara, Zion Kuwonu, Edwin Honoret and Austin Porter of PrettyMuch attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Chantel Jeffries attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: (L-R) DJ Khaled,Asahd Tuck Khaled and Nicole Tuck attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Redman (L) and DJ Jayceeoh attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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Rapper Kodak Black arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards 2017, In Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TOMMASO BODDI (Photo credit should read TOMMASO BODDI/AFP/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Vanessa Morgan attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actress Laura Marano arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards 2017, In Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TOMMASO BODDI (Photo credit should read TOMMASO BODDI/AFP/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Calvin Harris attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Baby Ariel attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Ludacris (L) and Eudoxie Mbouguiengue attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Fernando Lozada attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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