Today CALM was part of the launch of Heads Together, a nationwide campaign that has been launched by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to start conversations and promote mental wellbeing.
The very first of these conversations was about male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In the last ten years, CALM has helped treble awareness of this issue, but men are still three times more likely than women to take their own lives. So there is much work to be done.
The Duke of Cambridge joined us for a chat in CALM’s ‘Tea and Secrets’ tent – usually found at Secret Garden Party come festival season.
“I was amazingly sad and surprised to see the stats around suicide” said the Duke. “It’s the great unspoken problem in society. We need to get people listening to each other, get people coming out and saying listen I need to say something, I need to get something off my chest. Particularly men, we’re not very good at communicating our emotions. Usually the best thing to do is have a chat”
Here’s his time on the CALM sofa.
The Duke of Cambridge was joined by the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who got to know some of CALM’s most inspiring supporters…
Marcus Chapman (above right) is a CALM trustee and supporter, and was formerly a professional snowboarder and editor of a number of action sports titles for Factory Media. Marcus has recently become an accidental event organiser after launching the cycle-sportive Nelson’s Tour de Test Valley in partnership with CALM, to honour his best friend who took his own life in 2012.
Jamie Ramsay (below left) is a former 9-to-5-er turned adventurer who ran all the way from Vancouver to Buenos Aires in support of CALM and more recently completed an ‘extreme’ 3 Peaks Challenge, running the peaks and cycling between them. Jamie and Prince Harry shared notes on their epic outdoor expeditions, and also took a moment to compare beards.
Dominic Stichbury (above, third from left) founded Chaps Choir in 2013. It’s now a phenomenal group of 60 guys, based in Islington. The Chaps Choir sing a huge range of genres but always with a “male” twist. They have also raised money for CALM through a yearly concert at the incredible Union Chapel in Islington. Last month, the annual event was the biggest yet and raised over £3,500 for CALM.
Adam Torr (above) set up the Sides of March as a fun way to raise money and awareness of male suicide following the death of his friend Jeshan Ahmed. The campaign was to get men to grow their sideburns through the month of March this year, raising more than £5,500 for CALM and culminating in a special event – an alternative Burns Night.
Today’s CALM photographer and videographer was Paul Deaville. One of our outstanding army of regular volunteers, Paul has been a stalwart at our festival events such as Secret Garden Party.
Learn more about the campaign and find out how you can get involved over at the Heads Together website.
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.