84 men lose their lives to suicide in the UK every week
Frank Turner, Sam Smith and Professor Green are among the artists lending support to mental health charity CALM‘s new initiative Project 84 – calling upon the government to take more action regarding tackling the epidemic of suicide among men in the UK.
Every week, 84 men in the UK take their own lives. To make a stand, CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) are launching Project 84, raising awareness of the causes of male suicide as well as calling for more ministerial responsibility.
The project will tell the story of 84 real men who have lost their lives to suicide.
“Suicide claims the lives of more than 6,000 British men and women every year and is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK,” reads CALM’s petition. “Every single suicide directly affects 135 people – people like me, people like you. Beyond this unimaginable emotional cost, every single suicide costs an estimated £1.67 million – a cost to families, friends and wider society.
“Yet no minister in the UK government is officially responsible for suicide prevention and bereavement support. No minister is mandated to represent the thousands of people every year who feel like suicide is their only option, or the hundreds of thousands of bereaved families whose lives will never be the same again. “
They added: “It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to take a stand.”
To mark the launch, CALM have placed statues of 84 men on the roof of ITV’s London studios. Designed by artist Mark Jenkins and his collaborator Sandra Fernandez, friends and family members of the deceased helped in the creation process of the figures. CALM describe the statues as “a poignant reminder of a real life lost and a call to society to come together and ultimately take a stand against male suicide”.
You can visit the sculptures on London’s Southbank Promenade from 26th March.
Speaking to NME about the importance of CALM, Placebo frontman Brian Molko recently said: “They’re trying to raise awareness of male suicide among young men in the UK. The rate is really, really quite high. We need to remove the stigma surrounding depression, and one of their goals is to get more men to talk about their feelings instead of keeping it all inside and isolating one’s self – and eventually ending up with quite a tragic outcome.
“CALM is a charity that’s close to my heart because depression is a condition which I suffer from myself. There are various forms of help out there.”
He added: “It’s a disease like any other. Depression and addiction are both recognised by the World Health Organisation as diseases. If someone had MS or cancer, you would listen to them. There’s still a stigma attached to depression, and a lot of men in particular feel that it’s a sign of weakness to talk about it. What we’re trying to do with CALM is remove that stigma in society.”