Campaign Against Living Miserably
Suicide is the single biggest killer of young men in the UK. In 2012 there were 5,981 suicides in the UK, of which 77% (4,590) were male (ONS, NISRA, NRS). CALM, the campaign against living miserably, exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Our helpline 0800 585858 operates every day of the week 5pm to midnight and is free*, confidential and anonymous (more info below..)
*Restrictions apply. CALM is a registered charity in England and Wales (Reg charity no. 1110621) and in Scotland (reg. charity no. SC044347).
that if men felt able to ask for, and find, timely and appropriate help when they need it then hundreds of male suicides could be prevented in the UK. We believe that there is a cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help as they are expected to be in control at all times, and failure to be seen as such equates to weakness and a loss of masculinity. We believe that suicide is neither inevitable nor an indication that the individual was a failure in any respect.
We’re a campaign for all men, not just ‘service users’ – we avoid mental health terms and start with the belief that all of us, at one time or another regardless of gender, will hit a crisis. We could all do with specialist support when things go wrong.
We Seek To…
- offer immediate support to men who are down or in crisis;
- challenge a culture that prevents men seeking help when they need it, and challenge the stereotypes that prevent men talking about the issues they face. We want to change attitudes so that men feel able to seek help for themselves and create a climate of public opinion so that it’s acceptable for them to do so;
- push for organisational change so that we better support those seeking help, support those who suffer from bereavement, and discover more about male suicide so that we can be in a better position to prevent it.
We aim to position CALM as the mainstream charity for, and on behalf of, men. We don’t expect, or want, to be the only source of help for men. We see our future as very similar to where the Breast Cancer cause is today, but with a focus upon men not women, music not fashion.
We need to stay with our audience by forging partnerships within music, entertainment, sports and comedy to help us with our promotion and advertising, as well as potential brand partners who can help underpin our campaign. By using music and entertainment to promote our message we create a brand that is attractive to both our audience and potential supporters. In return we get a fantastic amount of pro-bono support from talented creative agencies who collectively help us raise awareness of the issue and our social message.
What we do…
We are a national charity with a helpline that takes calls from across the UK. We also work locally where we can, and work with local health commissioners in London and Merseyside to ensure that men are informed about the local agencies available to them, and provide a dedicated and focused campaign message. We launched our ‘Merseyside CALMzone’ in 2000, and since then suicide in that region has dropped year on year among young men and sits below the average for both the North West and England and Wales. London CALMzone was launched November 2011.
Our Helpline: We offer confidential, anonymous and free support, information and signposting to men anywhere in the UK through our helpline. Calls are taken by trained and skilled helpline workers who will listen empathetically, inform appropriately and signpost accurately with the aim to improve the mental well-being of the caller. This service is caller led, confidential and anonymous. The helpline is operated by the Community Interest Company SJ Helplines. Through them we also offer an SMS texting service in London & Merseyside. We currently take between between 2000 – 2500 calls per month.
Our Website: www.thecalmzone.net is a lively website with articles to inspire, support and entertain as well as promote the activities of our supporters. We have a team of young men who regularly write articles, interviews and music and film reviews for the website. The site also contains articles and a database of agencies via which we signpost visitors directly to other agencies who can help. We’re on Twitter (@theCALMzone) and we love Facebook (facebook.com/theCALMzone).
Our Magazine CALM’s unique men’s lifestyle magazine, CALMzine, is a free publication produced with the support of Topman and available at their stores, student unions and select music and cultural venues across inner London. To stock the magazine or for more info, contact editor@theCALMzone.net.
Read back issues HERE
We aren’t here to represent health professionals or the mental health industry. CALM is about, for and on behalf of men. We use young men’s peers, their voices and interests to reach them. Our materials and communications are created by young men – whether within an international agency or simply guys doing it off their own bat. We seek to work with clubs, venues and brands with voices that men respect, feel comfortable with and trust to get our message across.
Our existence depends upon a triumvirate of public donations, grants and commissioning. We are currently funded by Health Commissioners in our CALMzones, grants from Comic Relief, City Bridge Trust and Henry Smith Charity and money raised by the public through fundraising events, memorial pages and challenges. All donations, no matter how small, are welcome. CALM is currently supported by around 3000 individuals. If you want to help us answer the calls then here’s a grid below, which gives you some idea what your donations can do:
You can make one off or regular donations via:
or raise money for us when you sell on ebay
Merseyside: Launched in 2000. In Merseyside a coalition of PCTs directly employ and fund the local promotion of CALM. As a result CALM has a strong presence at all the relevant local festivals and events and has established strong relationships with nightclubs across the area. Over the past 10 years period, the local suicide rate has gone down year on year. You can read our Merseyside case study HERE.
London CALMzone: Launched in 2011. NHS Inner North-West London (covering Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Kensington & Chelsea) and Southwark PCTs have commissioned CALM to promote across their areas. We offer a unique helpline and texting number for London, supported by funding from City Bridge Trust. Working closely with local colleges, student unions, bars, nightclubs, gyms and other venues, the London CALMzone has quickly established its presence through the CALMzine, its promotional materials, a presence at appropriate events and venues, and via word of mouth.
Talk to CALM
Open 5pm-midnight, every day of the year.
Calls are confidential and anonymous. Our helpline is operated by SJ Helpline Services, a Community Interest Company set up to support the work of CALM by providing dedicated helpline services.
Calls to the London number are free. Calls to the National number are free from payphones and from mobiles on 3, Virgin, Orange networks. Some supermarket sims may charge though on calls to both numbers.
For texts, we don’t charge, but your service provider might. Calls won’t show up on your phone bill.
Nationwide: Call 0800 585858
London: Call 0808 802 5858
London: Text CALM1 to 07537 404717
Merseyside: Text CALM2 to 07537 404717
Men are three times more at risk of suicide than women. In 2011 for example, 76% of suicides in England & Wales were men. While smoking and knife crime make the headlines, suicide doesn’t. Most men who take their own lives aren’t in contact with any other agency, and don’t identify with much out there. From our research in 2012 with YouGov we know that 26% of people have seriously, or very seriously, considered suicide – and it’s pretty equally balanced between genders. What’s interesting is that it is men who go on to take their lives in much higher numbers. This gender balance in suicide is largely reflected across the world.
www.ons.go.uk 2011 Mortality Stats by cause. England and Wales
CALM are proud to have been honoured in the following ways:
Shortlisted for GSK Impact Award 2013
IPC Media Charity of the Year 2013 & 2014
CALMzine named Publication of the Year, Public Sector Communications Awards 2013
Winner Guardian Charity Awards 2012
Shortlisted MIND Media Awards 2011
Highly Commended, Charity Awards 2009
Shortlisted for Most Innovative Charity in the Britain’s Most Admired Charity Awards 2008, Third Sector.