Over the weekend, you may have read the Guardian’s article on gender disparity in suicide and the new figures published by CALM and Lynx that 42% of men aged 18-45 have considered suicide as an option. Well, this morning, CALM and men’s grooming brand Lynx launch a joint campaign to the whole nation raising awareness that the single biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide, and to encourage people to give this issue the attention it deserves.
Deliberately provocative, the #BiggerIssues advertising campaign juxtaposes comparatively trivial topics that are getting a huge amount of public attention with the issue of male suicide. Vegan meatballs recently tweeted about by Professor Green, for example, get more attention than the issue of male suicide.
Digital poster sites, including the famous Piccadilly site, will be updated to chart, in real-time, major conversation topics on social media in stark contrast to the ‘bigger issue’ of male suicide. Every two hours, the ads will change to represent the fact that that every two hours a man takes his life in the UK.
The campaign will build to a social media peak on International Men’s Day (19 November) with a ‘Thunderclap’ message going out across participants’ social media channels at 8am, highlighting the issue and hopefully causing it to trend on Twitter. We are asking people to be part of this movement by signing up to the Thunderclap via www.biggerissues.co.uk.
Join Tulisa, Jonny Benjamin and Mistajam in supporting the campaign! Here’s how you can help CALM:
Number 1 ask: Please lend your voice to the Thunderclap – sign up at www.biggerissues.co.uk. Once you have signed up, please share the automated message that will tell your social followers that you’ve supported this.
Number 2 ask: Please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to download our ‘Bigger Issues’ cover pics. You can upload these to your own social media channels to spread the awareness further. You’ll also find ready-made Facebook and Twitter posts in our ‘Bigger Issues’ Facebook album, which you can use with your own personal message to encourage your friends to support the campaign and sign up to the Thunderclap.
Number 3 ask: Can you write an article? What is it like to be a man today? What’s your take on the issue and how it’s been treated by the media, government, your workplace? Do you have a personal story to share? Do you have your own blog, maybe on Buzzfeed or Huffington Post? We’d love to bring your thoughts and writing into the campaign debate, so contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
The Thunderclap is, of course, only the beginning. The message that will go out at 8am on November 19th will contain a link to the #BiggerIssues online ‘hub’ where the conversation will continue, through films (like Professor Green’s recent ‘Suicide and Me’ documentary), tweets, personal experiences and articles, which can start to bust some myths around male suicide and the challenges that men face today.
We know it’s something that can affect anyone – after all, we all hit hard times at some point or another – but the general perception of the issue remains, ‘this doesn’t apply to me’ or ‘that sort of thing doesn’t happen round here’.
The campaign hashtag is #BiggerIssues. So, let’s park the small talk and start to discuss #BiggerIssues.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.