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How Lost Hours Walk helps CALM be there, no matter what

The Lost Hours Walk is CALM’s flagship event. Since 2019 it’s raised more than half a million pounds and continues to help CALM to be there for whoever needs us, no matter what. 

How Lost Hours Walk helps CALM

But the Lost Hours Walk is about way more than raising money. It’s about smashing the silence around suicide, dealing with grief differently and defiantly, and remembering those we’ve lost to suicide. 

The Lost Hours Walk community is made up of over 3000 walkers, all with their own reasons for walking. From dealing with their own struggles, to bereavement, every reason is unique, but by uniting as the clocks go back, we help raise vital awareness and tackle the stigma surrounding mental wellbeing. Forward. Together. Against Suicide. 

Don’t believe us. Here’s what a few of last year’s Lost Hours Walk walkers have to say: 

We walked from Charlton to QPR to smash the silence around suicide in the UK 

Walking from The Valley to Stamford Bridge, onto The Den and then Loftus Road.  No it wasn’t a stag do, Kevin and Cans Against Living Miserably walked against suicide at Lost Hours Walk 2020 – taking the chance to take in some of football’s most famous architecture in the process. 

Alongside his team, he took on 26 miles across London, culminating at London Bridge – a place that has special significance in his life. Kevin began struggling with his mental wellbeing in 2019, but after reaching out to friends, family and medical professionals, he’s feeling good. 

“Towards the end of 2019, I fell apart. I walked out of the office in the middle of the day, without telling anyone where I was going with the intention of ending my own life. It still feels horrific, but right now I’m doing a lot better. 

“It’s not been easy – far from it – but the support I’ve received from those closest to me, as well as strangers, and most crucially mental health professionals, has been phenomenal. I feel so privileged to have had access to so many sources of help, and I feel awful when I think about all of those people out there who either don’t have access to as much help, don’t know how to find it, or don’t know how to ask for it.”

We walked against suicide because you don’t need to be a doctor to save a life

Jamila, along with her colleagues and teammates, PMHT Wellbeing Champions , were one of hundreds of groups who took on #LostHoursWalk in 2020. As mental health workers, they know the importance of services like CALM’s, and walked to raise awareness and funds to keep them running when they’re needed more than ever. 

“I wanted to get the message across that it’s okay to speak about your feelings. It’s about raising awareness and although people might think suicide doesn’t affect them, it could so easily be someone in your circle. Everyone has a role in preventing suicide – it’s a collective responsibility. You can still save a life without being a doctor.”

Jamila works with young people and believes it’s important to talk to them before they reach crisis point.

“It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. I want to tell people that they shouldn’t let temporary pain have a permanent impact. When you’re going through difficult times, it’s only a small chapter in your life and there’s so much more than that. Your life is meaningful.”

“Working in the mental health sector, the Lost Hours Walk meant so much to us to raise money and awareness of the amazing work CALM does. We felt really proud walking around London in our bright blue CALM t-shirts sparking conversations with people on the streets and letting them know what the walk was about. It was a really rewarding experience as walking 13 miles was a personal challenge for us, but we were also able to support a shared cause and something that meant a lot to us.

We walk to remember my brother and to make sure everyone has access to the help they need 

Clare is one of the thousands who take on a #LostHoursWalk to remember a loved one. Clare lost her brother Lee in 2019, and wants to make sure that no matter where someone’s from, and whatever they’re going through, they’re able to ask for the help they need. She’s taking on her second Lost Hours Walk in 2021. 

“Some people struggle saying the word suicide. We’re trying to break that taboo and help people who feel the way my brother did. We want to help raise awareness that there are places like CALM where people can get help.”

Clare was close to her brother and supported him when he was going through tough times. While Lee was open with Clare about how he was feeling and the depression he was going through, he found it difficult to open up to his wider friends and family. 

Since Lee’s death, it’s been difficult for many of his friends and family to cope with the fact Lee didn’t tell him how he was feeling, and Clare think services like CALM’s are really important in helping people get through bereavement by suicide. She hopes by raising awareness, more people will be able to reach out for support. 

“It’s about talking about suicide, helping other people that feel the way that my brother did and also helping people like me and my mum, who are trying to support each other through something so difficult.”

“For last year’s walk, the final amount raised was over £5000 with the help of my employer, Vodafone doing match-funding and my daughter’s employer AO Mobile making a large contribution. We have signed up again for a local walk this year to raise funds again.” 

We want as many people to take part in the Lost Hours Walk as possible. Wherever you are in the country, no matter your age, or ability, choose a distance and route that works for you, your friends, family and community so we can walk forward, together, against suicide.

Whatever your reason why, it’s time to unite against suicide. Sign up here. 

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.

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