Suicide. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide or opened up about suicidal thoughts will know the power the word has to silence a room, stunt a conversation, to encourage a change of topic. Suicide isn’t talked about much. It should be. While it’s one of the leading causes of death around the world, suicide is not inevitable. That’s why CALM exists.
Suicide is the act of ending your own life. In 2019, 5,691 people died by suicide in the UK. But far from just a shocking statistic, there’s a life behind every single one of those deaths – a person with friends, family and a community.
The effects of suicide can be earth-shattering. Research has found that every suicide directly affects 135 people – that’s mates, family, colleagues, the person that serves coffee every day or drives the bus to work. On top of that, when somebody is bereaved by suicide, they are at greater risk of taking their own lives.
125 people die by suicide every week – with 75% of those deaths being male. That’s not ok, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Suicide is preventable – with the right support and an open and equal society, no one should ever feel like there’s no reason to go on.
At CALM, we believe everyone deserves to get the help they need, which is why we run a free, anonymous and confidential helpline and webchat from 5pm to midnight every day.
But it isn’t just immediate crisis support that is needed to prevent suicide – it’s culture change too. We work with people across industries and communities to raise awareness, tackle stigma and ultimately stop people reaching crisis point.