To download this information as a PDF, click HERE
Why focus on men?
In 2014 there were 6,109 suicides in the UK, of which 76%, or 4,623, were male, and suicide currently stands as the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in this country. The ratio of male to female suicide has shown a sustained rise over the last 30 years. In 1981 men accounted for 62% of suicides in this country, which rose to 70% in 1988, 75% in 1995 and hit 78% in 2013. (Source: ONS)
We want to make people aware that suicide is a gender issue; we want to challenge those social constraints preventing men from seeking help when they need it and we want to support those affected by suicide and depression, as well as develop the support available for the bereaved through the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership.
Even though we are focused on men, we take calls to our helpline and web chat from anyone. It’s our belief that all of us at one time or another, regardless of gender, will hit a crisis and we could all do with specialist help when things go wrong.
Why are the stats for men so high?
We believe that there are social and cultural barriers that prevent men from speaking out. From feedback we’ve received, and research conducted, men often say that they don’t feel comfortable expressing how they feel if they’re having a shit time, as they’re expected to be strong at all times, and not being so equates to weakness or failure as a man.
How long has CALM been around?
CALM was first launched as a pilot by the Department of Health in Manchester in 1997, in response to a spike in young male suicides and was then extended to Merseyside in 2000. Factory Records boss Tony Wilson supported the pilot, which was run by Jane Powell, who created a powerful and effective campaign which directly reached out to young men on their terms through music. In 2004/5 the pilot was due to end and Tony Wilson supported the move to make CALM a charity, and became a Founding Trustee when the charity was launched in 2006.
What services do you offer?
We currently take over 5,000 calls to our helpline each month, around 80% from men, and 20% from women. We launched webchat in August 2014, which is going from strength to strength. This has replaced our texting service, which has now closed.
Our website is filled with articles, stories and experiences there to both entertain and inform, and written by men and for men. Our website also contains a database of local agencies for guys to find more specific supports on particular issues.
Our free quarterly men’s magazine, CALMzine, is available at Topman stores across the country, and is stocked in other independent retailers, record stores, comedy clubs, gyms in London. You can see our stockist list here.
When is your helpline & webchat open?
Our helpline and webchat services are open from 5pm to midnight every day of the year. National: 0800 58 58 58; London: 0808 802 58 58. Calls are confidential and anonymous. Calls to the London number are free from landlines, payphones and all mobiles. Calls to the national number are free from landlines, payphones and from all mobiles. Calls won’t show up on phone bills.
What happens when someone calls the helpline?
We offer a friendly ear who will listen and talk through any issue a caller wants to talk about. Out trained helpline workers will then work towards creating a positive action plan for the caller, which will include signposting to local and/or national services. All calls are confidential and anonymous. We will never ask for names or addresses.
Do CALM support people bereaved by suicide?
CALM is a founding member of the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership, which is working toward ensuring that anyone bereaved or affected by suicide has access to timely and appropriate support.
If you have been bereaved or affected by suicide and feel you need or would benefit from support, or you want more information, please visit our partner website: www.suicidebereavementsupport.com
How can I help my friend or family member?
It’s always very difficult if you’re worried that someone close to you is at risk of suicide. Our helpline is there for everyone, not only those in crisis, so you can call to find out more info on how to help them . You can also find support information on our Worried About Someone page, also visit at our Get Help page to find more information on particular issues.
Is CALM a big organisation?
We’re a small charity. There are currently only 5 full-time paid members of staff. We rely heavily on the generous time, energy and skills of our volunteers, supporters, and fundraisers to keep the campaign running.
Do you have any volunteering opportunities? How can I get involved?
We currently take on volunteers in the London office for a range of different tasks, and we also have city Street Teams filled with people like us ready to head out to gigs, comedy events, festivals, fundraisers and more. If you’re interested in volunteering with CALM, sign up to the campaign HERE, or check our volunteering page HERE
Do you take volunteers on your helpline?
Unfortunately not. Our helpline is operated by a Community Interest Company set up to support the work of CALM by providing dedicated helpline services. As such, there are only trained and paid persons working on the helpline.
Where do you get funding from?
CALM receives funding from charitable trusts and foundations, health commissioners, corporate partnerships and public donations to support our services. At the end of our Financial Year (March 2015), CALM’s income was £647,454. Further information can be found in our Annual Accounts, which are publicly available from the Charity Commission.
Where does the money go?
Our helpline and webchat accounts for over half of our annual outgoings, since we take on the cost of calls in order to ensure calls to our helpline are free for everyone. Since CALM is a small organisation, we have minimal red tape, so all the money raised really does go directly back in to the organisation and our services.