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UK's first Suicide Prevention Minister: how we got here

This week's appointment of a Minister For Suicide Prevention marks a monumental win for the CALM movement – but it's an important move for everyone in the UK.

Around 6,000 lives are lost to suicide in the UK every year. 76% of those are male, which makes suicide the biggest killer of men under 45. Suicide has a huge emotional impact – on families, communities and on society as a whole. Government figures estimate the cost of each suicide at £1.67 million, but we know the real cost is the devastation each and every suicide leaves behind.

Along with a free helpline and webchat for men in crisis, CALM has been banging the drum about the impact of suicide for over a decade. We work daily with bereaved people who are passionate about saving lives, and challenge a culture that can prevent men seeking help.

In the last few years especially, we've made huge progress in getting the issue of suicide on the public agenda, but this week's news is the one of the most important steps in CALM history. Together we made real change, here's how:

1. #Project84: our biggest ever campaign

#Project84, launched in March, was our biggest campaign ever. With the help of families bereaved by suicide, sculptor Mark Jenkins, ITV’s This Morning and Harry's, we galvanised public awareness that 84 men a week lose their lives to suicide in the UK.