Shortlisted GSK Kings Fund Impact Award 2014
IPC Media Charity of the Year 2013 & 2014
CALMzine: Publication of the Year, Public Sector Communications Awards 2013
Winner Guardian Charity Awards 2012
Shortlisted MIND Media Awards 2011
Highly Commended, Charity Awards 2009
Shortlisted Most Innovative Charity in Third Sector Charity Awards 2008
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY, or CALM, is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. In 2013, male suicide accounts for 78% of all suicides and is the single biggest cause of death in men aged 20 – 45 in England and Wales.
PREVENTING MALE SUICIDE
We seek to prevent male suicide by:-
- Offering support to men in the UK, of any age, who are down or in crisis via our helpline and website.
- Challenging a culture that prevents men seeking help when they need it, see www.yearofthemale.com
- Pushing for changes in policy and practice so that suicide is better prevented via partnerships such as The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC), the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) . CALM also hosts the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership, (which includes Cruse, If U Care Share, Papyrus, SoBS and the Samaritans amongst others). This partnership aims to ensure that everyone bereaved or affected by suicide is offered and receives timely and appropriate support. Its members are working collaboratively to ensure this vision becomes a reality.
- We believethat if men felt able to ask for and find help when they need it then hundreds of male suicides could be prevented. We believe that there is a cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help as they are expected to be in control at all times, and failure to be seen as such equates to weakness and a loss of masculinity.
- We’re a campaign for all men, not just ‘service users’. All of us, at one time or another regardless of gender, will hit a crisis and so we could all do with specialist support when things go wrong.
- We aren’t here to represent health professionals or the mental health industry. CALM is about, for and on behalf of men. We use young men’s peers, their voices and interests to reach them. We seek to work with clubs, venues and brands with voices that men respect, feel comfortable with and trust to get our message across.
We want to forge partnerships within music, entertainment, sports and comedy to help us with our promotion and advertising, as well as potential brand partners who can help underpin our campaign. By using music and entertainment to promote our message we create a brand that is attractive to our audience and potential supporters. In return we get a fantastic amount of pro-bono support from talented creative agencies and individuals who collectively help us raise awareness of the issue and our social message.
WHAT WE DO
1. HELPLINE SERVICE
We are a national charity and our helpline takes calls from across the UK. Our helpline service is open 5pm-midnight every day of the year. Calls are confidential and anonymous. Calls are taken by trained and skilled helpline workers who provide support, information and signposting to callers. We signpost to national agencies unless the caller lives within a CALMzone (see below), in which case we are able to signpost to local agencies. This service is caller led, confidential and anonymous. The helpline is operated on behalf of CALM by the Community Interest Company. Callers can also access the same service via webchat.
2. COMMISSIONED CALMZONES & PROMOTION
We work with local health commissioners in London and Merseyside to actively promote CALM across their areas and target men locally in line with local needs, and ensure that men local to these areas are informed about the local as well as national agencies available to them, and provide a dedicated and locally focused campaign message.
Merseyside CALMzone: Launched in 2000. In Merseyside a coalition of Local Authorities commission the local promotion of CALM via an NHS provider trust, who employ a local co-ordinator. As a result CALM has a strong presence at all the relevant local festivals and events and has established strong relationships with nightclubs across the area. In the 10 year period following CALM’s launch here the local suicide rate in young men dropped year on year. Read our Merseyside case study HERE.
London CALMzone: Launched in 2011. CALM is commissioned by the Tri-Borough Public Health Service (covering Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Kensington & Chelsea) to promote across their areas. We offer a unique helpline and texting number for London, supported by funding from City Bridge Trust. Working closely with local colleges, student unions, bars, nightclubs, gyms and other venues, the London CALMzone has quickly established its presence through CALMzine, its promotional materials, a presence at appropriate events and venues, and via word of mouth.
Our website is designed with the intention of giving men a comfortable space where they can read stories of other men going through similar experiences and discover where to find help, as well as how to get more engaged with the campaign. The site hosts articles and information which are intended inspire, support and entertain in a site created and written by and for men. There are scores of men who regularly write articles, interviews and share their experiences on the website. Our site contains information about everything, from OCD and depression to hair loss and work. The site also hosts a database of agencies so that visitors can directly find out about organisations who can help. We’re on Twitter (@theCALMzone) and Facebook (facebook.com/theCALMzone). We currently receive about 20,000 unique visitors a month to the site.
Our Magazine CALM’s unique men’s lifestyle magazine, CALMzine, is a free publication, physically distributed in Topman stores in Central London as well as student unions, bars, record stores, comic book shops and select music and cultural venues across the capital. To stock the magazine or for more info, contact editor@theCALMzone.net. CALMzine is also available online. Read back issues HERE
Our existence depends upon a triumvirate of public donations, grants and commissioning. We are currently funded by Health Commissioners in our CALMzones, grants from Comic Relief, City Bridge Trust and Henry Smith Charity and money raised by the public through fundraising events, memorial pages and challenges. All donations, no matter how small, are welcome. CALM is currently supported by around 5,000 individuals. If you want to help us answer the calls then here’s a grid below, which gives you some idea what your donations can do:
One off or regular donations can be made via Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving or raise money for us when you sell on ebay. If your company is interested in supporting CALM or commissioning our service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.