Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, exists to prevent male suicide in the UK, which currently accounts for 78% of all suicides. We seek to prevent male suicide by:

– Offering support to men in the UK who are down or in crisis via our helpline services, website and magazine.
– Challenging a culture that prevents men seeking help when they need it.
– Pushing for changes in policy and practice so that suicide is better prevented.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

– CALM encourage men, a high-risk group, to get help in difficult times.

– Our campaign raises awareness of our helpline, website, webchat and magazine, which provide direct support to men who are depressed or in crisis.

– We run a private forum for people bereaved by suicide and host the SBSP website.

– Our public facing staff members are ASIST trained.

– CALM are founding members of TASC& SBSP and attend APPG Suicide Prevention meetings.

– We host an agency database on our website, signposting to relevant services.

– We push for change at a governmental level, calling for more robust reporting of suicide by coroners and for gender to become a permanent thread through the national suicide prevention strategy.

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What are your current priorities?

We will provide opportunities for men to take ownership over the campaign, through creative and practical means, and communicate to others about the things that affect their emotional and mental wellbeing and redefine what being a man means to them, creating a space that is accepting of a wider range of emotional expression in men.

We will mobilise people to act collectively and demonstrate their desire to see male suicide prevented, to challenging a culture where a man asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness, and exploring the topic of masculinity and what it means to be a man in the UK today.

We influence key decision makers and commissioners to implement more effective suicide reduction strategies, enable preventative activity to occur and collect more systematic and detailed data on suicides in order to allow better prevention strategies.

And we will be an effective organisation that develops our people, funding and resources to be able to deliver our goals and to create a robust, forward thinking organisation and to grow and respond to changes in the industry.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Capacity: we struggle to cope with demand and the level of interest from supporters, volunteers, fundraisers as well as from the press and wider public. This is testament to the success of our campaign and service provision, which reaches out and provides support to men, an otherwise neglected high-risk group.

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