Coronavirus is here, and it looks likely it’ll be part of our daily life for a little while to come. It's an unprecedented and ever-developing situation, so what does that mean for CALM? Simon Gunning, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), shares CALM’s approach.
First and foremost, we’re here for you. Just like always, you can use our helpline and webchat services from 5pm to midnight every day. If you’re finding things tough, our trained helpline workers are there to provide you with guidance and advice on how to move forward. Because, let’s be honest, there’s lots to think about right now. From financial worries, to anxiety around you and your loved ones’ health - it’s easy for thoughts to become overwhelming.
A huge amount of the calls and chats we receive, even during normal times, relate to anxiety, loneliness and isolation. People come to CALM for guidance through the many challenges that life throws at us. Calls and webchats to CALM are free, anonymous and confidential. If you’re finding things tough right now, we’re here for you.
However, that does not mean we’re not affected by Coronavirus. Covid-19 has forced many more people into isolation and as a result it's possible that more people than ever will need our services. This, coupled with the fear of the unknown that this unprecedented event has created, means we expect CALM's helpline to be in more demand than ever in these utterly weird times.
To support people over the coming weeks, alongside our core helpline and webchat, you’ll also be able to find loads of stuff to help you through this period of uncertainty on our website and across social media. We’re working on new ways to help you connect with your mates, keep your mental health in check, and stay as fit and healthy as possible. One example is UKTV channel Dave’s screening of Comedy Against Living Miserably, set to air at 9pm on 24th March, offering some much needed laughter.
Everything that’s going on right now means we need to be more innovative and focussed in the coming weeks and months to ensure we can continue to raise the funds for our service as it sees an uplift in calls and webchats. As many of you will already be aware, most of our upcoming fundraising events, like the London and Brighton marathons, have been postponed for the safety of everyone involved. We would never risk the health of our staff, volunteers, or community, and completely back the decision to cancel upcoming events. Instead, we’re looking at ways to adapt to the challenges that this new virus has posed. Our head office staff are working remotely to continue to provide support and solutions to the unique challenges we’re facing.
If you’d like to support CALM in providing our vital and life-saving services you can do so in a number of ways.
- Donate: You can directly donate to support CALM’s services here. £8 is enough to fund one call and could potentially turn a life around.
- Get inventive: Got an idea that you think could help support CALM in these challenging times? From live streaming your gig, to online games tournaments - whatever it is, we’d love to hear it. Let us know here.
- Join a Collective: CALM Collectives are all about getting together over shared passions; engaging in activities we love with other people and in doing so strengthening the bonds that make us human. You might not be able to run with other people, make art collectively or play for your football team for a while, but the Collectives are still here and the connectivity they provide for like-minded people on social media continues. Find out more about them here.
We’ll need a real sense of community spirit to come through this unparalleled situation, but I’m confident that we’re stronger together. Keep an eye on our social media channels and website for updates. Stay safe, look after yourselves, and as always CALM’s here if you need it.